Keywords: Bt corn, genetically modified organisms, benefits, environmental risks, market risks, health risks, trade policy, regulatory policy, genetically modified crops, GM crops, developing countries, genetic modification, GMOs, agricultural biotechnology, commercialisation
An analysis of Bt corn's benefits and risks for national and regional policymakers considering Bt corn adoption
This paper examines important factors for policymakers to consider when making a decision to adopt Bt corn planting and commercialisation, by analysing the market, environmental, and health benefits and risks of Bt corn as well as current regulatory policies that may affect trade. Bt corn, genetically modified to produce a pesticidal protein, has benefits that include improved yield, decreased pesticide use, and reduced mycotoxin levels. These qualities of Bt corn could be particularly beneficial in some developing countries, where corn is a staple in human and animal diets and pests and mycotoxins are poorly managed. However, a combination of potential environmental and market risks, as well as the broader context of what would be accomplished by allowing Bt corn adoption, should also be considered when policymakers decide whether to allow commercialisation and trade of this genetically modified crop.