Benefits of biotech specialty crops: The need for a new path forward
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Vegetables are high-value commodities, but high cosmetic standards are applicable. Many are eaten fresh, so they are intensely managed with frequent use of “traditional” insecticides. Some 45% of the value of insecticides used is applied to fruits and vegetables and is 1.5 times higher than the total applied to cotton, corn and rice. So the healthy foods we encourage people to eat are blasted with chemicals not just to get them to grow under an onslaught of pests and diseases, but also to make them look perfect. Genetically engineering pest and disease resistance directly into the plants reduces cost and chemicals.
Agricultural biotechnology; specialty crops; transgenic papaya; stakeholders; genetic engineering; GE; GMO; regulation; food safety; USDA; novel traits; premarket approval; intellectual property; patents; human health impacts; synthetic genomics
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