After 21 years of GM maize in the fields all over the world – what the scientists say?

Genetically engineered (GE) maize is among the most extensively cultivated GM crops in more than 25 countries. There are also numerous publications in peer reviewed journals on its agro-environmental impact. Nevertheless, the benefits and risks related to GM maize cultivation are still being debated and concerns about safety remain.

Scientists from University of Pisa, Italy published very recently in the journal Scientific Reports the most comprehensive till now, meta-analyses on peer reviewed scientific papers. The study covers data for the cultivation in 1996-2016 period on yield, grain quality, non-target (NTO) and target organisms and soil biomass decomposition.

There are strong evidences that GE corn has higher yield than the respective near-isogenic lines (5.6 – 24.5%). The cultivation of GM maize has no effect on NTOs, suggesting no substantial effect on insect community diversity. There is strong evidence that GE maize cultivation reduces mycotoxin content in maize grain, which leads to increases in income and quality of produce, and to reductions in human exposure to mycotoxins, thus reducing health risks.

Source: Pellegrino et al.,   Scientific Reports 8, 3113 (2018)   doi:10.1038/s41598-018-21284-2


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