GM Bt Maize Coming to Europe

Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Briefing Pack
March 2009
1 GRL-TN-02-2009
GM insect-resistant (Bt) maize in Europe: a growing threat to wildlife
Janet Cotter, Greenpeace Research Laboratories, Technical Note 02/2009
Cultivation of GM Bt maize will harm European wildlife and jeopardise
conventional and organic farming. Despite this, there is a threat that
genetically modified (GM) insect-resistant (Bt) maize could be grown in
Europe on a large scale as companies are submitting new GM Bt maize
varieties to the EU approval process. Potential effects on the natural
and agricultural environments include toxic effects on beneficial and
non-target organisms, such as butterflies; longterm effects on soil
health and rivers and impacts on sustainable farming practices.
Contamination of non-GM crops is already happening from the small
acreage of GM Bt maize that is grown in Europe: coexistence with non-GM
crops is impossible. Decision-makers at all levels in the EU and
national governments need to take into account the evidence contained in
this briefing, put a halt to the expansion of risky GM crops in the EU
and, instead, invest in ecological agriculture that creates jobs and
stimulates rural development, whilst promoting biodiversity by
protecting soil, water and the climate.
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