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The Impact of Bt Corn on Aflatoxin-Related Insurance Claims in the United States.


ABSTRACT: Previous field studies have reached no collective consensus on whether Bt corn, the most commonly planted transgenic crop worldwide, has significantly lower aflatoxin levels than non-Bt isolines. Aflatoxin, a mycotoxin contaminating corn and other commodities, causes liver cancer in humans and can pose severe economic losses to farmers. We found that from 2001-2016, a significant inverse correlation existed between Bt corn planting and aflatoxin-related insurance claims in the United States, when controlling for temperature and drought. Estimated benefits of aflatoxin reduction resulting from Bt corn planting are about $120 million to $167 million per year over 16 states on average. These results suggest that Bt corn use is an important strategy in reducing aflatoxin risk, with corresponding economic benefits. If the same principles hold true in other world regions, then Bt corn hybrids adapted to diverse agronomic regions may have a role in reducing aflatoxin in areas prone to high aflatoxin contamination, and where corn is a dietary staple.

SUBMITTER: Yu J 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7308289 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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