Acta Biológica Colombiana
Print version ISSN 0120-548X
CHAPARRO GIRALDO, ALEJANDRO. Gm Crops:: Between Biological Risk and Environmental and Economics Benefits. Acta biol.Colomb. [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.3, pp. 231-252. ISSN 0120-548X.
The transgenic crops were the result of the application of recombinant DNA technology in agriculture. These crops were developed by transfer of foreign genes (transgenes) from any biological origin (animal, plant, microbial, viral) to the genome of cultivated species of plants. The crops genetically modified (GM) have been used in the world since 1996; up to December 2010 they counted to a billion hectares planted throughout the period. In just the past year 2010 148 million hectares were planted, grown by 15.4 million farmers in 29 countries. GM crops that are used in global agriculture are mainly soybean, cotton, corn and canola, which express transgenes derived from bacteria, and confer resistance to lepidopteran insects (ILR) or herbicide tolerance (HT; glyphosate and glufosinate ammonium). The first transgenic varieties containing only a single transgene, or simple event, while the current varieties express several transgenes, or stacked, confereing resistance to different species of Lepidoptera and Coleopteran insects and tolerance to two different herbicides. In 2010 were planted in Colombia, 18.874 hectares of GM cotton, 16.793 hectares of GM corn, and 4 hectares of GM carnations and GM roses. GM corn and GM cotton were planted in Sucre, Cesar, Cordoba, Huila and Tolima. GM corn was planted in Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Meta, Cundinamarca and Santander. Carnations and roses were planted in Cundinamarca. GM maize and GM cotton expressing ILR and HT features, as simple events or stacked. In the case of GM carnation and GM roses, these genotypes that express the color blue. Academia has tried to organize the debate on the adoption of GM crops around the analysis of biological risks and environmental vs environmental and economic benefits. Biological hazards are defined by the possible negative effects on human consumers or negative effects on the environment. The environmental benefits are related to reduce use of agrochemicals (insecticides and herbicides), and the economic benefits from the reduction in losses due to insect and weed competition to reduction of production costs.
Keywords : GM crops; biological risk; environmental benefits; economic benefits.