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Purified Cry toxins can harm non-target biodiversity

A new study from GenØk has reached the surprising conclusion that purified Cry toxins can harm non-target biodiversity.

GenøkOne of the claimed benefits with Bt/Cry-transgenic GM plants it that their insect protection is specific, i.e. killing only target groups, thus limiting unwanted negative effects on non-target species and biodiversity.

This new study demonstrates that an aquatic model organism, the waterflea (Daphnia magna), has increased mortality after chronic exposure to purified Bt/Cry toxins. Moreover, as exposure to two Cry-toxins gave stronger effects in combination, new GM plants with stacked events (that already dominates the market and express several Cry-toxins) are likely to have stronger effects on non-target organisms than single event GM plants. Cry-toxin may thus have alternative, unknown and unwanted modes-of-action in non-target organisms. We need to improve the understanding of the fate of residues of transgenic material and Cry-toxins in run-off aquatic environments.

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