NABC Report 27: Stewardship for the Sustainability of Genetically Engineered Crops: The Way Forward in Pest Management, Coexistence, and Trade

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Published 2016 by NABC.

Presented is a broad overview of issues requiring stewardship and sustainability. Current status and the road forward are emphasized for four dominant issues—resistance management, coexistence, trade and markets, and social and economic concerns. All of these issues have been central to agriculture for decades—well before the introduction of genetically engineered products for agriculture in the 1990s. An example is the National Research Council committee on ecologically based pest management, which for the most part preceded the introduction of genetically engineered ag products. It is important to recognize that the issues discussed here were not initiated by genetic engineering. Genetically engineered crops are not unique for these issues, but have their own subset. These must be dealt with to ensure sustainability of these products to continue as an integral part of crop ag practices. The beneficial impact of GE crops in farm sustainability was addressed by a 2010 NRC report, e.g. herbicide resistant crops enabled broad use of no-till practices and the use of herbicides with less residual persistence in our soils, and plants genetically engineered for pest resistance have reduced the use of chemical pesticides. NABC 27 explored in an open forum the road forward to promote sustainability of these products, the ones now in use, those in development and still others being conceived in our laboratories. This stewardship has responsibilities for farmer-growers, ag input industries, processors, academe, and government.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 26
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    Sustainability of genetically engineered insect-resistant Crops: A view from the fringe
    Tooker, John F (NABC, 2015)
    Product flexibility in the marketplace. Would allow growers to maximize economic returns by responding to local pest populations, especially through the use of IPM, rather than being limited to specific management strategies aimed at potential pest problems.
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    AC21—The journey to coexistence
    Redding, Russell C. (NABC, 2015)
    The Advisory Committee on 21st Century Agriculture (AC21), in response to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack’s charge to advise the USDA on key issues facing the increasingly complex and diverse US agricultural system, focused on a set of recommendations and implementation strategies to enhance coexistence among different agricultural production systems.
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    Concluding session: Putting it all together
    Pueppke, Steve (NABC, 2015)
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    Student Voice report
    Minkenberg, Bastian; Newsome, Jade (NABC, 2015)
    Student Voice report and recommendations
  • Item
    (NABC, 2015)
    147Trade and markets
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    The structure of US agricultural and food research, with an emphasis on seed-biotechnology research
    Heisey, Paul W. (NABC, 2015)
    The early innovations in biotechnology primarily occurred within university and public research institutions, yet research investment by the private sector has well surpassed public investment. The nature of the research conducted in the public and private sectors still remains complementary, as the more fundamental work carried out in public institutions informs the translational research often emphasized by private industry. Both in the US and globally, the seed-biotechnology industry has concentrated, resulting in fewer small and medium-sized private biotechnology companies and the dominance of larger companies.
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    Do American consumers want GM food labeling? It depends on how you ask the question
    Hallman, William K. (NABC, 2015)
    Data show that the vast majority of Americans know little or nothing about GE foods or foods containing GE ingredients in their supermarkets. There is considerable confusion among consumers: ingredients thought to be GE-derived are often not, there is uncertainty whether foods containing GE products are currently available, and most don’t know that they are consuming foods containing GE ingredients. While many consumers are uninformed about GE foods, they readily develop opinions that can influence their attitudes and decisions regarding these foods. Interestingly, purchasing decisions tend to solidify people’s opinions about the nature of their food, further supporting their beliefs by adjusting information to conform to those beliefs.
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    Worlds apart on GMOs—Can trade agreements bridge the gap?
    Kerr, William A. (NABC, 2015)
    Divergent regulation of GE commodities on the world market leads to trade barriers and reduces trade flow. Rules regulating international trade of GE crops do not exist, even though there is a long history of actions taken by the World Trade Organization to establish paths forward to address trade barriers in the global marketplace for GE crops. Political realities in some countries, especially those with strong anti-GE agendas, are supplanting science as the primary basis for domestic policies and trade rules. Furthermore, the ever-increasing worldwide presence of GE crops in the global marketplace becomes more problematic in light of zero tolerance policies for adventitious presence of GE materials in shipments of non-GE crops. Harmonization of trade standards among different countries could resolve current policies that result in trade barriers; however, harmonization requires establishing mutually acceptable regulatory frameworks for trade in GE crops that exceed the scope of trade negotiations.
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    Enabling coexistence: Balancing innovation and market access
    Giroux, Randal (NABC, 2015)
    Managing the coexistence of commodity crops within supply chains and global food presents challenges. For biotechnology to fully realize the benefit of increased global food security, its products must be effectively integrated into the global food system. However, many international challenges exist in balancing innovation with market access, including asynchronous approvals and zero tolerance for approved GE traits. Governments, with the assistance of independent scientific groups, are in the best position to provide cogent policies that assure both industries and consumers.
  • Item
    (NABC, 2015)
    Social and economic dimensions of sustainability