SAfETY of Bt Crops to Nontarget Invertebrates

Given the 40-year safety record of Bt insecticides, along with the well-accepted empirical methods for testing the safety of chemical and bacterial insecticides, it is appropriate that a combination of prior studies and empirical methods be used to establish the safety (or lack thereof) of Bt crops, since a major purpose of prior safety studies on Bt strains was to evaluate any potential risks for nontarget organisms of Cry proteins to be used in Bt insecticides. Over the past few years, studies of Bt crop safety based on empirical methods have begun to appear in the scientific literature. These studies have examined the effects of several Bt crops on nontarget invertebrates and vertebrates, including mammals, in the laboratory and field. Under operational growing conditions, studies conducted to date show that Bt crops have no significant adverse consequences for nontarget invertebrate populations and, if anything, their use is beneficial because the amount of broad-spectrum chemical

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