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Underlying reasons of the controversy over adverse effects of Bt toxins on lady beetle and lacewing larvae

Hilbeck, Angelika; Meier, Matthias and Trtikova, Miluse (2012) Underlying reasons of the controversy over adverse effects of Bt toxins on lady beetle and lacewing larvae. Environmental Sciences Europe, 24 (9), pp. 1-5.

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Online at: http://www.enveurope.com/content/24/1/9

Summary

We outline important underlying reasons that fuel the decades-long controversy over adverse effects of Bt toxins expressed in genetically modified plants on beneficial, nontarget organisms. Inconsistent evaluation standards and asymmetrical levels of scrutiny applied to studies reporting significant adverse effects compared to those finding no adverse effects are described using the examples of the green lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea) and the twospotted lady beetle (Adalia bipunctata). Additionally, the chosen style and concerted nature of the rather confrontational counter study and responses in the lady beetle cases bear striking similarities to other reported examples in the field of biosafety/risk science of genetically modified plants and to other fields of applied industrial techno-science that suggest deeper issues that go well beyond science. We call for a constructive and respectful scientific discourse where moving the frontiers of our collective knowledge forward takes center stage. Reported phenomena based on robust data must not be rejected or delegitimized on their being surprising and lacking an explained mechanism at the time of their discovery. Exploring mechanisms often requires entirely different expertise and methodologies than those of the discoverers. In particular, in biosafety/risk sciences, plurality of arguments and critical research approaches have to be embraced and actively encouraged rather than discredited or even silenced if we are to learn our ‘late lessons’ from past technology introductions.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Bt toxins, Sozioökonomie, Gentechnik, genetically modified plants, Adalia bipunctata, Chrysoperla carnea
Subjects: Knowledge management
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Socio-Economics
Switzerland > Other organizations
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:24706
Deposited On:25 Nov 2013 21:52
Last Modified:25 Nov 2013 21:52
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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