Congratulations to Tony Shelton, professor of entomology, who is part of a team of leading experts who will be honored with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Team Award from the Entomological Foundation. This annual award is presented to a collaboration that meaningfully contributes to pest control efforts using IPM practices. Dr. Shelton¹s and his fellow collaborators, known collectively as the ³Risk Assessment of Bt Plants on Beneficial Non-target Arthropods (NTA) IPM Team,² focused on the environmental risk assessment of Bt crops, which are genetically engineered to protect themselves from insects. The team is credited with developing a science-based framework for assessing the potential risks of Bt proteins on beneficial insects, or NTAs, with the goal of increasing the environmental safety of Bt crops and similar crops in the future. This work, including the team¹s analysis of data from lab and field studies around the world, has shown that Bt crops in use now do not cause unexpected harm on beneficial predators or parasitoids. Their analysis also showed that reductions in insecticide applications made possible by Bt-transgenic varieties have clear benefits on insect abundance in general and natural enemies in particular.
The award will be presented at the meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Austin, Texas, in November.