Inventory of possible crop cultivation changes as a result of the introduction of GM crops in the Maritime Zone of Europe

Research reports | 31.01.2013 | CGM 2012-09

In the Maritime zone of Europe, genetically modified (GM) crops are not commercially cultivated on a large scale. Europe has an extensive regulatory system to assess the safety of GM crops before GM crops are allowed onto the market. Besides possible direct adverse effects for humans or the environment, other (such as indirect or delayed) effects are also taken into account in the environmental risk analysis. However, the question what exactly is encompassed by these indirect changes or what role or weight they should bring into the risk analysis remains unclear.

In order to get more insight into the possible nature and extent of indirect changes of cultivation of GM varieties, an inventarisation was made of crop cultivation changes that occurred in The United States of America. Over 40% of all GM crops worldwide are grown in the USA and changes have been relatively well documented. The aim of this report is to provide insight in the possible changes in crop cultivation practices after the introduction of GM varieties of maize, sugar beet and potato. Several changes have occurred in the agro systems in the regions of introduction of these crops. These changes have been evaluated with respect to their relevance to the Maritime zone. In this report, only changes in cultivation practice were reviewed.

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