Crop or Pasture Plants

5.1 Will the plants in this experiment be allowed to set seed?


5.2 Is vegetative propagation planned?

5.3 What desirable effects are expected to result from the use of the modified plant (e.g., increased production, improved quality of product, new product, disease, insect or herbicide resistance, etc.)?

The insect-tolerant cotton will enable farmers to control bollworm infections without need for environmentally unfriendly, broad-spectrum insecticides.

5.4 What undesirable effects may result from the release (e.g., reduced fertility, increased disease prevalence, production losses, etc.)?

The yield and quality of cotton should increase and the amount of insecticide used should decrease.

5.5 Are any of the likely gains directly linked to losses in other characteristics of the species?

5.6 Are any members of the genus of modified plants known to be weeds?

5.7 Can the genetic trait be transmitted by means other than by normal reproduction?

5.8 Does the imparted characteristic have the potential to add or subtract substances from the soil (e.g., nitrogen)?

No. Bt protein is rapidly degraded in the soil and in sunlight.

5.9 Has the modified plant been shown to be nontoxic to animals and humans?

Yes. The foreign proteins are nontoxic to humans and all animals except certain Lepidopteran insects. Bt toxin is the insecticide of choice in organic farming systems.

5.10 Could any toxic products concentrate in the natural or human food chain?

No. The toxin breaks down along with other cellular proteins in rotting plant material.

5.11 With regard to the pollination characteristics of the species, do wild populations of the species, or related species with which it can interbreed, exist in the vicinity of the field trial or agricultural site?

No related plants have been identified in local flora or weed species, so out-crossing is not expected to occur.

5.12 With regard to the pollination characteristics of the plant, what is the likelihood of the novel genetic material entering a pre-existing gene pool? Provide information on the pollinators specific to the crop and the measures to be taken to prevent pollen spread to unmodified plants.

Because cotton is pollinated by insects, the trial site is situated 800 m from the nearest cotton, and insect traps will be used to collect insects moving away from the GM trial site. These insects will be monitored to obtain data on GM pollen movement from the GM cotton.

5.13 Should the imparted characteristic (e.g., insect, herbicide, or disease resistance) "escape" into a wild population, would it have the potential to affect the distribution and abundance of that population?

5.14 Would there be any consequent problems with respect to:

5.14.1 Agriculture?

5.14.2 The environment?

5.14.3 Disease control?

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