Can Transgenic Crops and IPM Be Compatible?

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Abstract

Drawing on the lessons from Bt cotton, this chapter considers how and to what extent transgenic crop varieties can become a useful component of broader IPM strategies. In the United States, Bt cotton has been successfully incorporated into IPM programs to control pink bollworm because several pre-conditions have been met. These have included science-based regulatory oversight of new variety introduction, active collaboration between university scientists and both regulatory agencies and agricultural producers, and significant cooperation and self-regulation among producers themselves. Bt cotton also possesses unique characteristics compatible with IPM strategies. The U.S. experience of Bt cotton suggests transgenics can be part of IPM strategies. But, this is no guarantee that transgenic varieties with different characteristics, deployed in countries with different institutional capacities will be compatible with IPM. Emerging challenges are longer-term integrated resistance management (IRM), the need for cross-commodity IPM, and maintaining the flow of information between scientific, regulatory and agricultural communities.