Exponent - Articles and news items
Issue 2 2012 • 1 May 2012 • Gijs A Kleter, RIKILT; John B Unsworth, Private Consultant and Caroline A Harris, Exponent International
Global agriculture has witnessed a continuously increasing adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops, both in terms of the area covered with these crops and the number of countries where these crops are grown. In 2011, the total worldwide acreage of these crops amounted to 160 million hectares, with the top 10 countries growing them located in the Americas (USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay), Asia (India, China, Pakistan), and South Africa. The most popular GM crops are major commodity crops, in particular soybean, maize, cotton and canola. The major traits that have been introduced into these crops through genetic modification are herbicide resistance and insect resistance1.
A previous article discussed the internationally harmonised principles for the safety assessment of GM foods, which commonly has to be carried out before these foods can be allowed onto the market in many nations2. One of the issues mentioned then but not elaborated (because it falls under the scope of the parallel regulation of pesticides) is the potential for the new or altered presence of pesticide residues in GM crops. In this article, we highlight the issues surrounding the presence of residues of herbicide active ingredients and their metabolites in herbicideresistant GM crops.
Herbicides are pesticides that contain active ingredients that are toxic to some types of plant, for which reason they can be used to combat weeds, which are non-crop plants growing in crop fields.
The new company aims to create the world’s leading meat-alternative business….
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