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Considerations on the use of transgenic crops for insect control

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The adoption of agricultural technologies, whether developed through biotechnology or other methods, depends on social, political, regulatory and biological parameters. This article first presents an example of a low-input, non-biotechnological method of pest control that, while seemingly reasonable to researchers and extension agents, was not adopted by farmers. It then analyses a method for insect management developed through biotechnology that is becoming widely adopted: transgenic plants expressing insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Globally increasing adoption of Bt plants, by small and large farmers in both low- and high- income countries requires explanation in terms of biological properties of cropping systems and insect populations, alternative control techniques and social policy considerations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Cornell University, New York, USA

Publication date: 01 July 2007

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