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Crop Biotech Update

Study Reports SmartStax Maize Does Not Affect Non-Target Organisms

August 2, 2017

A new study published and conducted by researchers from Switzerland, Czech Republic, and China confirms that the individual Cry proteins in SmartStax maize do not harm non-target species that are non-sensitive to the individual proteins. This is the first study that investigated the impact of SmartStax maize (expressing 6 different Bt Cry proteins to control pest Lepidoptera and Coleoptera) on non-target arthropod predators.

Arthropods are exposed to genetically engineered (GE) crops with stacked insecticidal traits from multiple Cry proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The research team followed the flow of different Cry proteins through the foodweb (from plant to herbivore to predator) and conducted feeding bioassays. They found that three predators (lacewing, ladybird, and spider) are not affected by SmartStax maize.

For more details, read the abstract of the paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.