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An international initiative is developing a scientifically rigorous approach to evaluate the potential risks to nontarget arthropods (NTAs) posed by insect-resistant, genetically modified (IRGM) crops. It adapts the tiered approach to risk assessment that is used internationally within regulatory toxicology and environmental sciences. The approach focuses(More)
This paper provides recommendations on experimental design for early-tier laboratory studies used in risk assessments to evaluate potential adverse impacts of arthropod-resistant genetically engineered (GE) plants on non-target arthropods (NTAs). While we rely heavily on the currently used proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in this discussion, the(More)
The debate concerning genetically modified crops illustrates confusion between the role of scientists and that of wider society in regulatory decision making. We identify two fundamental misunderstandings, which, if rectified, would allow progress with confidence. First, scientific risk assessment needs to test well-defined hypotheses, not simply collect(More)
Problem formulation is the first step in environmental risk assessment (ERA) where policy goals, scope, assessment endpoints, and methodology are distilled to an explicitly stated problem and approach for analysis. The consistency and utility of ERAs for genetically modified (GM) plants can be improved through rigorous problem formulation (PF), producing an(More)
UNLABELLED Arthropods form a major part of the biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Many species are valued because they provide ecosystem services, including biological control, pollination and decomposition, or because they are of conservation interest. Some arthropods reduce crop yield and quality, and conventional chemical pesticides, biological(More)
Transgenic crops producing insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provide economic, environmental and health benefits by maintaining or increasing crop yields with fewer applications of insecticide. To sustain these benefits, it is important to delay the evolution of insect resistance to the proteins, and to ensure that the proteins do not(More)
The environmental risks from cultivating crops producing output trait enzymes can be rigorously assessed by testing conservative risk hypotheses of no harm to endpoints such as the abundance of wildlife, crop yield and the rate of degradation of crop residues in soil. These hypotheses can be tested with data from many sources, including evaluations of the(More)
The requirement for environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically engineered (GE) plants prior to large scale or commercial introduction into the environment is well established in national laws and regulations, as well as in international agreements. Since the first introductions of GE plants in commercial agriculture in the 1990s, a nearly universal(More)
Forests are vital to the world's ecological, social, cultural and economic well-being yet sustainable provision of goods and services from forests is increasingly challenged by pressures such as growing demand for wood and other forest products, land conversion and degradation, and climate change. Intensively managed, highly productive forestry(More)
Representatives of the developers of modern agricultural biotechnology are proposing a tiered approach for conducting non-target organism risk assessment for genetically modified (GM) plants in Europe. The approach was developed by the Technical Advisory Group of the EuropaBio Plant Biotechnology Unit (http://www.europabio.org/TAG.htm) and complements other(More)