Biotech Updates

Impact of Herbicide Regimes Used with GM Maize

April 18, 2008

Results of a study conducted by scientists from the Ghent University in Belgium show that most herbicide regimes used with genetically modified (GM) herbicide-resistant maize have a better environmental impact than those used in non-GM varieties. This is due to the lower potential of glyphosate (Gly) and glufosinate ammonium (Glu) to leach into the groundwater and their lower acute toxicity to aquatic organism.

The scientists used a pesticide occupational and environmental risk (POCER) indicator to gauge the impacts of the herbicide regimes. When Gly or Glu is used alone, the POCER factor values for the environmental modules were reduced approximately by a sixth. However, the environmental impact of novel herbicide regimes tested may be underestimated due to the assumption that the active ingredients used with herbicide-tolerant maize would be used alone.

The article published in the journal Transgenic Research is available at