16 October 2014
THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE
Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) soybean ‘Intacta’ (MON 87701×MON 89788) has both an insect resistance trait and a herbicide (glyphosate) resistance trait. Insect resistance comes from the expression of Cry proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).
Although the Bt soybean has been found to be effective against Lepidopteran pests, it is not effective against the southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania, a non-target organism which feeds on soybean leaves and pods. Such organisms are becoming economically significant soybean pests. A recently published scientific study in Brazil, co-authored by Monsanto employees, has evaluated the impact of Intacta on Spodoptera eridania and on the development of Telenomus remus, which parasitizes the former’s eggs (Item 1).
The study found that the Bt soybean reduced S. eridania’s larval development duration by two days and lengthened the adult male lifespan by three days. The researchers describe this as “favorable to pest development”. This was attributed to be a likely result of unintended changes in plant characteristics caused by the insertion of the transgene. Thus, the results represent a warning that farms planting the Intacta soybean may see an increase in S. eridania populations. However, the Bt soybean had no effect on T. remus, which can help prevent S. eridania outbreaks.
In the European Union, Intacta soybean has been approved for import and processing of food and feed. Testbiotech and other organisations have filed a lawsuit at the European Court of Justice opposing this approval. "The EU approval for the Intacta soybean should be withdrawn, since there is an obvious need for thorough reassessment and further investigations, "says Christoph Then for Testbiotech. "The newly published findings have unknown causes and could affect food safety." (See Item 2)
With best wishes
Third World Network
131 Jalan Macalister
DEVELOPMENT AND REPRODUCTION OF SPODOPTERA ERIDANIA (LEPIDOPTERA: NOCTUIDAE) AND ITS EGG PARASITOID TELENOMUS REMUS (HYMENOPTERA: PLATYGASTRIDAE) ONTHE GENETICALLY MODIFIED SOYBEAN (BT) MON 87701×MON 89788
Genetically modified crops with insect resistance genes from Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt-plants) are increasingly being cultivated worldwide. Therefore, it is critical to improve our knowledge of their direct or indirect impact not only on target pests but also on non-target arthropods. Hence, this study evaluates comparative leaf consumption and performance of Spodoptera eridania (Cramer), a species that is tolerant of the Cry1Ac protein, fed with Bt soybean, MON 87701×MON 89788 or its non-Bt isoline. We also assessed the comparative performance of the egg parasitoid Telenomus remus Nixon on eggs of S. eridania produced from individuals that fed on these two soybean isolines as larvae. Results showed that Bt soybean reduced by 2 days larval development and increased by 3 days adult male longevity. Therefore, we conclude that the effect of Bt soybean MON 87701×MON 89788 on S. eridania development and reproduction is small, and favorable to pest development. These differences are less likely to directly result from the toxin presence but indirectly from unintended changes in plant characteristics caused by the insertion of the transgene. Our results should be viewed as an alert that S. eridania populations may increase in Bt soybeans, but on the other hand, no adverse effects of this technology were observed for the egg parasitoid T. remus which can help to prevent S. eridaniaoutbreaks on these crops.
Keywords: plant resistance, non-target pests, natural enemy, egg parasitoid, genetically modified organisms (GMO)
MONSANTO WARNING ON NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF GROWING ITS GM SOYBEAN “INTACTA”
A new scientific publication co-authored by Monsanto employees, is warning that the cultivation of the genetically modified soybean Intacta (MON 87701 × MON 89788) could promote the spread of specific pest insects. According to the authors, the effects are likely to be caused by unintended effects in the plants, possibly arising from the insertion of the additional DNA. The genetically engineered soybean produced by Monsanto is resistant to herbicides containing glyphosate and produces a Bt insecticide. Brazilian scientists in collaboration with Monsanto employees have discovered that certain pest insects (Spodoptera eridania, southern armyworm), which can cause considerable damage in soybean fields, develop faster and live longer if their larvae feed off the plants.
Etiquetas: en, Intacta, Monsanto, Soy, Testbiotech