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Review

Deficiencies in the Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Bt Cowpea Approved for Cultivation in Nigeria: A Critical Review

Testbiotech e.V., Institute for Independent Impact Assessment of Biotechnology, 80807 Munich, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Zhengqiang Ma, Michael Eckerstorfer and Sarah Z. Agapito-Tenfen
Plants 2022, 11(3), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11030380
Received: 29 December 2021 / Revised: 22 January 2022 / Accepted: 25 January 2022 / Published: 29 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Potential Unintended Effects of Genetic Technologies in Plants)
We analyze the application filed for the marketing and cultivation of genetically engineered Bt cowpea (event AAT 709A) approved in Nigeria in 2019. Cowpea (Vigna ungiguiculata) is extensively grown throughout sub-Saharan Africa and consumed by around two hundred million people. The transgenic plants produce an insecticidal, recombinant Bt toxin meant to protect the plants against the larvae of Maruca vitrata, which feed on the plants and are also known as pod borer. Our analysis of the application reveals issues of concern regarding the safety of the Bt toxins produced in the plants. These concerns include stability of gene expression, impact on soil organisms, effects on non-target species and food safety. In addition, we show deficiencies in the risk assessment of potential gene flow and uncontrolled spread of the transgenes and cultivated varieties as well as the maintenance of seed collections. As far as information is publicly available, we analyze the application by referring to established standards of GMO risk assessment. We take the provisions of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) into account, of which both Nigeria and the EU are parties. We also refer to the EU standards for GMO risk assessment, which are complementary to the provisions of the CPB. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bt cowpea; transgenic plants; environmental risk assessment; biodiversity; gene flow; food safety; GMOs; LMOs; Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Bt cowpea; transgenic plants; environmental risk assessment; biodiversity; gene flow; food safety; GMOs; LMOs; Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
MDPI and ACS Style

Then, C.; Miyazaki, J.; Bauer-Panskus, A. Deficiencies in the Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Bt Cowpea Approved for Cultivation in Nigeria: A Critical Review. Plants 2022, 11, 380. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11030380

AMA Style

Then C, Miyazaki J, Bauer-Panskus A. Deficiencies in the Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Bt Cowpea Approved for Cultivation in Nigeria: A Critical Review. Plants. 2022; 11(3):380. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11030380

Chicago/Turabian Style

Then, Christoph, Juliana Miyazaki, and Andreas Bauer-Panskus. 2022. "Deficiencies in the Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Bt Cowpea Approved for Cultivation in Nigeria: A Critical Review" Plants 11, no. 3: 380. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11030380

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