Biotech Updates

Recommendations for GM Risk Assessment Lab Studies

March 18, 2011

An international consortium of scientists has compiled recommendations for the experimental design of laboratory studies used to evaluate potential adverse impacts of insect-resistant, genetically engineered plants on non-target arthropods. Led by Jorg Romeis of the Agroscope Reckenholz-Tanikon Research Station, Zurich, Switzerland, the group says that while they relied heavily on the currently used proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis in their discussion, the concepts apply to other arthropod-active proteins.

The consortium avers that following the recommendations will facilitate the reproduction of such studies; their peer review by others in the scientific community; and will benefit regulatory authorities by enhancing the quality of data generated for risk assessment. This will improve the robustness of, and confidence in, environmental risk assessments of transgenic plants.

The paper "Recommendations for the design on laboratory studies non-target arthropods for risk assessment of genetically engineered plants" is published in the journal Transgenic Research. The article is available for open access at or email