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Crop Sci
Vol. 46, No. xx, 2006; Pages:
113–117

Safety and Public Acceptance of Transgenic Products

Patrick F. Byrne*

Dep. of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1170.

Abstract

Public acceptance of transgenic (genetically engineered, GE) products is influenced by the perception of direct or indirect risks and benefits and the credibility of regulatory agencies that evaluate food and environmental safety. In North America acceptance of GE foods is holding steady, while knowledge about them remains low. Development of transgenic foods with improved nutritional properties or other quality factors will likely be better received than products that primarily benefit the grower or developer of the product. There is continuing unease about biopharming and the association, by some members of the public, of GE crops with corporate agriculture. Several recent reports have reviewed the U.S. regulatory system for transgenic crops and called for a more coordinated and transparent process that allows for greater public participation. For society to benefit from GE crops, we must move away from the polarized positions that have defined the transgenic debate in the past, to positions of mutual respect that allow a rational discussion of the technology’s merits and risks.

Keywords:Transgenic Products, genetically modified organisms,Lycopersicon esculentum,Bacillus thuringiensis,Triticum aestivum,GM Crops.

Corresponding author:

E-mail: Patrick.Byrne@ColoState.edu

 
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