NABC Report 10: Agricultural Biotechnology and Environmental Quality: Gene Escape and Pest Resistance
Published 1998 by NABC.
Concerns about the risks of altered genes migrating into non-crop plants and the risks of pests developing a resistance to genetically modified plant pesticides are of critical concern to people opposed to genetic engineering. Yet we cannot turn back the clock. If anything, the demand for genetically modified food and fiber crops is accelerating. Research and development, regulatory and public policy, and industrial and economic issues surround the discussion about genetic engineering. The general acceptance of agricultural biotechnology by growers is in contrast with the public’s concern, which is not always based on scientific research. In fact, some in the public question the validity of scientific research.
Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) as an important tool against Lepidoptera, especially ones that have developed immunity to traditional pesticides. To avoid the possibility of insects becoming resistant to Bt, the EPA recommends refuges of 4 percent without any use of pesticide.
The tobacco mosaic virus resistant genes have proven very stable and durable over 25 years, but not all viruses are the same and not all risks are the same. And with more than 2,000 plant viruses, genetically engineering resistance to more than a single virus would be beneficial.
The early strength of opposition groups in Europe explain the greatly reduced level of consumer acceptance of GE crops compared to the US, Canada and Japan.
The growing world population requires an even increasing demand for food with limited area of cultivation. Genetic engineering of crops to grow under less than ideal conditions could be one of the tools to address the need for more food production. However, it is vital to keep in mind that big business calling for GE crops is never primarily concerned with the overall welfare of the public, but in their own profits.
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(NABC, 1998)The world’s population will increase significantly in the near future and the demand for healthy, affordable food will also grow. Given that the area of available arable land required to produce food will not expand, new ...
(NABC, 1998)The advancing knowledge of biotechnology, and the ability to manipulate plant life, requires that scientists proceed with. In breaking new ground they must be prepared for the skepticism and criticism that accompany such ...
(NABC, 1998)Pathogen derived resistance can be used to develop transgenic plants that are resistant to virus infection. It is possible to reduce both potential and perceived risks associated with the transgenes by constructing transgenes ...
(NABC, 1998)Genetically engineering agriculture is unnecessary and unethical. It is based on unsound science, and the foods produced are unwholesome. It is unsustainable because the technology is hit or miss. Most of all I believe it ...
(NABC, 1998)Resistance management with Bt crops has forced researchers to learn a lot about the biology of the targeted insects. The EPA Science Advisory Panel Report (1998) points out that scientist should take a conservative approach ...