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Plant Biotechnol J. 2014 May;12(4):399-401. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12189. Epub 2014 Apr 5.

Does expression of Bt toxin matter in farmer's pesticide use?

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Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resource Research, Beijing, China.


Despite the widespread adoption of Bt cotton, farmers still spray excessive pesticides in their cotton fields. In contrast to scientists who always use high quality seeds in the laboratory and/or experimental fields, farmers may plant low quality seeds with a low expression of Bt toxin. How does the expression of Bt toxin influence farmers' pesticide use? On the basis of a plot-level survey and laboratory test data, this study shows that pesticide use on one cotton plot is influenced not only by the expression of Bt crops in this plot, but also by the average expression in the village in the early stage of the cotton growing season. In other words, high expression of Bt toxin benefits not only the farmers who plant the varieties but also all the other villagers.


Bt cotton; Bt toxin expression; laboratory test; pesticide use; plot-level survey

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