NABC Report 08: Agricultural Biotechnology: Novel Products and New Partnerships

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Published 1996 by NABC.

A major attraction of biotechnology for investors has been the allure of new market opportunities and the prospect of revolutionary medical, food, and other products that will change our lives. However, biotechnology’s critics have long expressed concern that the unpredictability of the effects of such changes are reasons for prudence and caution. In spite of some false starts, unrealistic expectations, and unfulfilled promises, recombinant DNA biotechnology is now maturing as an important discipline that will underpin much of our biological research and development during the next century. Surprising to some is the important role of agricultural biotechnology to not only the food and feed industry, but also to the chemical, pharmaceutical, environmental, and energy industries, as new products are emerging in these marketplaces.

Speakers and participants at this meeting debated the social, ethical, economic, research, development, and commercialization issues and opportunities that the new products of biotechnology pose for consumers, farmers, industry, public interest groups, government, and universities.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 21
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    Crop biotechnology in the service of medical and veterinary science
    Arntzen, Charles J. (NABC, 1996)
    Various research laboratories have experimented with the use of plants for “biomanufacturing” of specialty products. These approaches utilize transgenic plants created to accumulate high value proteins/enzymes of potential pharmaceutical value such as vaccines.
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    Constructing food for shareholder value
    Kneen, Brewster (NABC, 1996)
    The application of biotechnology to agriculture is not about feeding the hungry of the world, nor is it about feeding the growing appetites of the growing global middle class. It is about making more money for corporations and increasing shareholder value.
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    Innovation, industrial development and the regulation of biotechnology
    Kraus, Martine (NABC, 1996)
    The U.S. plant biotechnology industry has been positively affected by strong domestic regulation. However, European regulation has had a negative effect since companies hesitate to develop export crops for a market with perceived regulatory uncertainty. On the other hand, both U.S. and European medical biotechnology industries are subject to stringent regulatory requirements. Regulation plays an important role in assuring consumer confidence. This is particularly so in a new industry such as biotechnology.
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    Ensley, Burt (NABC, 1996)
    Phytoremediation is the exploitation of specific plants to clean up the environment. Plants are used to treat or remove environmental contaminants from soil and other solids like dredge spoils, water, other liquids, and air.
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    The public and agricultural biotechnology: key questions
    MacGillis, Miriam Therese (NABC, 1996)
    Biotechnology is a commitment to myth. By refusing to acknowledge the superstition implied in our blind adherence to our vision of a world of bliss, we move deeper into a chaos from which life itself may be unable to recover.
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    Protein production in transgenic animals
    Cooper, Julian (NABC, 1996)
    Future farms will produce food more efficiently, perhaps in environments where originally it was considered too difficult. In addition, farms will produce many different raw materials for industrial processes, a variety of pharmaceutical proteins for human and animal use, and serve as a source of vaccines for many of the developing nations. Described here is one of the technologies that will contribute to this expansion in new products is the generation of transgenic species, both plant and animal.
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    Agricultural biotechnology: a farmer’s perspective
    Garr, Mary Lou (NABC, 1996)
    From the perspective of farmers, having unified positions on agricultural biotechnology issues is absolutely critical. but the rate of scientific discovery in the field of agricultural biotechnology is advancing far more rapidly than is our ability to address the issues which are raised as a result of these discoveries. There is a need for fostering the growth and development of biotechnology for the maximum benefit of the agri-food sector and the community-at-large.
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    Sludge, States rights and success
    Evans, Ken (NABC, 1996)
    Enormous changes face the agricultural sector over the next few decades with regulatory and social changes affecting agricultural biotechnology in the environmental and energy sector. Where are we, where are going and how we are going to get there?
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    Novel crops and other transgenics: how green are they?
    Goldburg, Rebecca (NABC, 1996)
    The expanding universe of biotechnology products will broaden the range of environmental risks and controversies associated with biotechnology products. Innovative new regulatory approaches are one way in which our society may manage better those products that spur environmental controversies.
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    Biotechnology: Catalyst for Change in Agriculture
    Barton, Kenneth A. (NABC, 1996)
    Biotechnology represents a powerful new tool for plant and animal breeding, and the development of new products and new uses for agriculture. Rapid product development condenses and necessitates changes in industry practice to capture appropriate value of the increased contribution of genetics as a component of final product value. Key industry changes to achieve this will be clarification and enforcement of a strong system for intellectual property protection.