Stewardship for the Sustainability of Genetically Engineered Crops: The Way Forward in Pest Management, Coexistence, and Trade
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.
Agricultural biotechnology; sustainability; stewardship; genetical engineering; GMO; GE crops; resistance; resistance management; coexistence; seed industry; labeling; insect resistance