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Chris Sansone

Global Regulatory Affairs Manager – Insect Resistance Management (Americas), Bayer

Expert Bio

Chris Sansone serves as Global Regulatory Affairs Manager – Insect Resistance Management (Americas), where he leads the management and advances the development of a regionally focused Insect Resistance Management (IRM) program for Bayer LP (BCS) transgenic crops. He also serves as a Bee Ambassador for the company, speaking about bee health and other issues.

Prior to joining BCS in 2012, Chris spent 31 years at Texas A&M University, where he served as a professor and extension specialist within the Department of Entomology. Over the course of his career, Chris has co-authored and published 41 academic papers and has received numerous Extension and Society awards, including the Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society of America Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension.

Chris received his Ph.D. in Entomology from Texas A&M University and is recognized as an Extension Specialist Emeritus with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: GMOs have any relation to what is happening whit the bees?

Answered By Chris Sansone - Apr 17, 2014

A: Genetically modified (GM) plants and their impact on honey bees have been widely studied, and the results indicate that GM plants are not harmful to bees. A review by Malone and Pham-Delègue (2001) looked at seven studies. Their conclusion was that “Bt transgene products are very likely to be safe for honey bees and bumblebees.” One large study, by Duan et al. (2008), looked at 25 different studies and concluded that “the Bt Cry proteins used in genetically modified crops for control of caterpillar and beetle pests do not negatively affect the survival of honey bee larvae or ad [...]

Environment GMO Basics GMOs in Groceries


Q: Are there any legitimate studies indicating that bees are being affected by Bt crops?

Answered By Chris Sansone - Apr 23, 2014

A: Thank you for your question. First, the insecticidal protein the crop produces is very specific to particular insect orders. For example, the Bt protein Cry1Ab affects only specific caterpillar (the order Lepidoptera) pests, while the Bt protein Cry3Bb1 affects only specific beetle (the order Coleoptera) pests. This specificity is one of the reasons Bt is such a popular insecticide in both GM crops and non-GM crops, including organic agriculture. Thus, the Bt proteins currently being used in crops do not affect bees (the order Hymenoptera). For more information on Bt specificity, please [...]

Health & Safety How GMOs Are Made Crop protectants


Q: What about all the mass amounts of bees that are dying now. What is the story on this? Monsantos pesticides are being blamed for this. They've apparently increased the strength on some of these pesticides.

Answered By Chris Sansone - Apr 25, 2014

A: Without modern crop protection practices, nearly 50 percent of the harvest would be lost to insects, diseases, weeds and fungus (Oerke, 2006). The end result would be that more land would be required to feed a growing population. Producers use different strategies to provide an adequate food supply, including the use of pesticides when necessary. Producers are also very conscious of the environment and take steps to reduce the impact of their farming practices. For example, modern seed treatments actually reduce the amount of insecticide in the environment. Spraying a field with an insecticid [...]

GMOs & Farmers How GMOs Are Made Crop protectants


Q: Has there been any cases where gmo crops have harmed bees or other wildlife where non gmo crops have not? Also are there any studies on the affects of gmos on bees or other important insects?

Answered By Chris Sansone - Jul 23, 2014

A: All plants genetically modified to be insect resistant or herbicide tolerant undergo a risk assessment, which includes evaluating potential adverse impacts on nontarget arthropods (insects and related animals). Major groups tested include pollinators (e.g., honey bees and bumble bees), predators (e.g., lady beetles and green lacewings) and parasites (e.g., Diaeretiella rapae, an aphid parasite). In addition, soil-dwelling animals, like earthworms, isopods, Collembola, nematodes and protozoa, have been tested. Please read this review of the effects of GMOs on bees and insects (Annual Revi [...]

Environment GMO Basics GMOs & Farmers