Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology - Agricultural Applications Ofgenetic Engineering, The U.s. Biotechnologyregulatory System, An International Food Fight
research scientists agriculture pressing
Around the world, scientists are working to develop new varieties of crops that can resist pests, use less water, and generally thrive in less than
optimal growing conditions. Hand-in-hand with scientific research, countries must adopt policies that allow their farmers to take advantage of new products being developed through research. Government policies should encourage the safe use of new technologies, not cause farmers and consumers to fear it.
—Ann M. Veneman, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
The dawn of the new millennium saw explosive advances in biotechnology. Technological breakthroughs offered scientists and physicians unprecedented opportunities to develop previously inconceivable solutions to pressing problems in agriculture, environmental science, and medicine. Simultaneously, researchers, politicians,
ethicists, theologians, and the public were challenged to assess, analyze, and determine the feasibility of using new and innovative biotechnology in view of the opportunities, possibilities, risks, benefits, and diverse viewpoints about the safe, effective, and ethical applications of genetic research.
This chapter describes several examples of existing and proposed applications of genetic research and biotechnology, including uses that address such pressing problems as environmental pollution and world hunger as well as the role of genetic engineering in developing lifesaving medical therapeutics. It also considers industry
and consumer viewpoints as well as recommendations scientists, policy makers, and ethicists have made regarding the wise, judicious, and equitable use of these technologies.
Genetically modified (GM) or transgenic crops (sometimes also called genetically engineered—or GE—crops) contain one or more genes that have been artificially inserted instead of received through pollination (fertilization by the transfer of pollen from an anther to a stigma of a plant). The inserted gene sequence, termed the
transgene, may be introduced to produce very different res…
The U.S. government operates a rigorous, coordinated regulatory process for determining the safety of agricultural products of modern biotechnology. The process ensures that all biotechnology products that are commercially grown, processed, sold, and consumed are as safe as their conventional counterparts. According to the
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the government regulatory system is …
In January 2000, after participating in the negotiation of the International BioSafety Protocol, a treaty developed by the UN Convention on biological diversity in which all signatories concurred that GM crops are significantly different from traditional crops, the United States refused to join other countries in signing.
Known as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to honor the country of Colombi…
There are two things that most of us feel. We feel hurt and we feel angry. … We had real leadership. …We had … faith in this science when others were dubious, and it all seemed to be working. So we painted a big bull's-eye on our chest, and we went over the top of the hill. —Robert Shapiro, the chief executive officer of
Monsanto, in the New Yorker, April 10, 200…
Progress in understanding the genetic basis of disease has arrived at a rapid-fire pace. Genetic and genomic information gained from the Human Genome Project promises to revolutionize prevention and treatment of disease in the twenty-first century. Physicians will be able to accurately predict patients' risks of acquiring
specific diseases and advise them of actions they may take to reduce …
Most applications of genetic biotechnology are scientific, agricultural, and medical. However, geneticists are also engaged in product research and development of related technology and in legal determinations. Involvement with legal matters and the criminal justice system often takes the form of DNA profiling, also known as
DNA fingerprinting. Since every organism has its own unique DNA, genetic …
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