Environmental Impact of Genetically Modified Maize Expressing Cry1 Proteins

  • Detlef BartschEmail author
  • Yann Devos
  • Rosie Hails
  • Jozsef Kiss
  • Paul Henning Krogh
  • Sylvie Mestdagh
  • Marco Nuti
  • Angela Sessitsch
  • Jeremy Sweet
  • Achim Gathmann
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 64)


For more than a decade, genes of Bacillus thuringiensis (‘Bt’) that encode lepidopteran-specific protein toxins (Cry1Ab and Cry1F) have been engineered into maize for protection against lepidopteran pests. An extensive body of research data and environmental risk assessments (ERA) has been assembled on the potential environmental impact of Cry1 expressing maize. The available literature so far suggests only minor environmental effects. The majority of laboratory studies and all the field studies reviewed did not reveal any unexpected adverse or long-term effectson the environment. Negative effects observed in the laboratory do not necessarily translate to field conditions. There are more than 10 years experience of cultivating GM maize worldwide and few long-term effects have been reported. For future research studies, modelling and monitoring are appropriate tools to investigate long-term environmental effects during GMO cultivation.


European Union Genetically Modify Genetically Modify Crop Cry1 Protein Cry1 Gene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to thank the Members of the EFSA GMO Panel, its Ad-Hoc Members of the Environment Working Group and the staff of EFSA GMO Unit for their contributions to several published EFSA opinions (e.g., EFSA2008b, c), which provided the basis for this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Detlef Bartsch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yann Devos
    • 2
  • Rosie Hails
    • 3
  • Jozsef Kiss
    • 4
  • Paul Henning Krogh
    • 5
  • Sylvie Mestdagh
    • 2
  • Marco Nuti
    • 6
  • Angela Sessitsch
    • 7
  • Jeremy Sweet
    • 8
  • Achim Gathmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL)BerlinGermany
  2. 2.European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), GMO UnitParmaItaly
  3. 3.Centre for Ecology and HydrologyOxfordUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.Plant Protection Institute, Szent Istvan UniversityGödöllöHungary
  5. 5.National Environmental Research Institute, University of AarhusSilkeborgDenmark
  6. 6.Department of Crop BiologyFaculty of Agriculture, University of PisaPisaItaly
  7. 7.AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbHViennaAustria
  8. 8.Environmental ConsultantCambridgeUnited Kingdom

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