Assessing the positive and negative claims about genetically engineered crops _ nc state news _ nc state university

Genetic engineering in general, and genetically engineered (GE) crops in particular, stir strong feelings from both critics and supporters. High profit business in malaysia The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have just released a report, “ Genetically Engineered Crops: Experience and Prospects,” that examines the evidence behind positive and negative claims about GE crops, and the research challenges that lie ahead.

The 20-person committee that authored the report was convened in September 2014, heard presentations from 80 experts, received over 700 comments from members of the public and reviewed hundreds of peer-reviewed articles – assessing not only the research, but who funded it.

The committee was chaired by Fred Gould, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Entomology at North Carolina State University, and co-director of NC State’s Genetic Engineering and Society Center.


The Abstract: Why did the National Academies convene this committee? What questions or challenges was the committee tasked with addressing? Fred Gould

Fred Gould: The National Academies have conducted a number of assessments of genetic engineering (GE) since the 1970’s, but now, almost 20 years since the first widespread planting of GE crops, the Academies wanted a comprehensive review of what we have learned since the introduction of these crops, and what the future may hold for this technology. High profit margin products to sell on ebay In carrying out its study, the committee was well aware of the controversial nature of genetic engineering in the United States and globally. Low investment business with high profit in india There have been many claims, of positive and negative effects of existing GE crops and one main task of the committee was to examine the evidence related to these claims.

The Abstract: Many in the scientific community feel the safety of GE crops is so well established as to be unassailable. High profit margin foods Others feel that research highlighting risks associated with GE crops are swept under the rug. High profit margin products to sell online What did the committee do to try to address these divergent points of view? Is it even possible to accommodate both viewpoints?

Gould: Indeed, prior to and during our first public committee meeting, we received comments from individuals and groups who felt that there had already been so many reports from authoritative committees about the safety of currently commercial GE crops that one more report on this topic was pointless. Low investment high profit business in pakistan At the same time, we received comments from other groups and individuals who claimed that past reports had ignored studies that found problems with the safety of foods from GE crops and had not accounted for ecological and social problems caused by GE crops. Business with small investment and high profit The latter group was concerned that our committee would also ignore these studies and issues.

Our committee took on all of these comments as constructive challenges. Small scale business with high profit We held a number of public meetings as well as 15 webinars that were open to the public. Low overhead high profit business In total we heard presentations from 80 people who had very different experiences and perspectives on GE crops. High profit business ideas india Additionally, we encouraged members of the public to send us comments and questions through our website. Business with low investment and high profit We received over 700 responses to this request. High profit plants I think that all of this input challenged our 20 committee members to think more broadly and deeply about the issues.

The Abstract: One point that critics of GE crops often bring up is that much of the relevant research is funded or otherwise supported by industry groups. High profit small business ideas 2013 Did the committee address this issue? And, if so, how?

Gould: Over the past 40 years the public has become well aware that research funded by industry on drugs, tobacco, and other biomedical topics can be slanted to favor a desired outcome. High profit margin business india It makes sense that people would be concerned about safety testing of the food they eat if it was solely conducted by or funded by the industries that stand to profit from sales of GE crops. High profit online business ideas We worked hard to examine the studies that have been published in the peer-reviewed literature on the safety of GE crops and foods. Business with low overhead high profit Some of these studies were conducted by industry scientists or were funded by industry, but others were done independently. High profit business for sale We went through all of the references in our report on current GE crops to find the affiliation of the authors of studies and whenever possible, the source of funds used to conduct the studies. Business ideas with low investment and high profit in hindi We have put all of this information on our website so that it is accessible to anyone who is interested in knowing the origin of specific studies referred to in our report.

The Abstract: This is a threshold question: how did the committee define GE crops? I mean, given that farmers and scientists have been breeding plants to emphasize specific characteristics for millennia, what constitutes genetic engineering, as opposed to plant breeding?

Gould: In the 1990s when GE crops were first being developed, the USDA and EPA were able to make clear distinctions between crops developed through GE technologies and those developed by conventional breeding. High profit companies They regulated the GE crops but did not typically regulate those derived through conventional means. Items to sell with high profit margins In the 30 years since the first US regulatory framework was developed for GE crops, the technology has changed so much that the USDA is no longer able to use its regulatory authority to assess a large class of GE crops. Low risk high profit business ideas Both the USDA and EPA are trying to determine how they should regulate GE crops in the future.

Our committee also struggled with this issue. Low cost business ideas with high profit While most of the early GE crops were either resistant to a herbicide or produced a protein that was toxic to insects, some future engineered crops may only have small changes to DNA that alters a single amino acid in a protein already produced by the crop, or they may have an entirely new metabolic pathway. Low investment high profit business in chennai The committee concluded that it was not how a genetic change was made or even the amount of DNA that was altered that should be the focus of regulation. Small business high profit In the end, it is the plant characteristics that should be regulated. High profit small business ideas If a plant has intended or unintended novel characteristics that could potentially result in harm to the environment or human health, then it needs to be thoroughly tested. High profit products to sell on ebay But if modern, high throughput methods for assessing a plant’s DNA, RNA and chemical metabolite composition show that there are no signs of intended or unintended alterations that could cause harm, there is no need for further testing. High profit business The committee concluded that these criteria applied as much to what are considered conventionally bred plants as to GE plants.

Gould: In the past, only a handful of crops were the focus of GE. Low price high profit shares Because of new technologies and accompanying declines in the cost and time involved in engineering plants, more crops are now included in the research agenda. High profit margin products in india These include apples, plums, flowers, forest trees, plantation trees, and even mushrooms. Low investment high profit business ideas A number of crops that are more important to resource poor farmers are gaining more attention. High profit business in india 2012 These include cassava, sweet potato, peanuts and sorghum. What is a high profit margin There is little in the way of profit motive involved in such research, so it is typically funded by philanthropic groups or governments. Highest profit margin products on ebay Whether such funding will be sufficient and sustained is not clear.

Gould: No, the committee did not reach such a conclusion. Low capital high profit business Not surprisingly, the committee found that the social and economic effects of GE crops depended on whether the GE trait and the genetics of the cultivar it was put into matched the needs of the farmers and the farm environment. Low risk high profit business GE crops have provided economic benefits to many small-scale farmers who were early adopters, but long term and widespread gains will depend on institutional support and sustainable access to profitable local and global markets for the GE products. Business ideas with low investment and high profit We must ask, over time, what proportion of the potential additional benefits from GE crops will go to small scale farmers, consumers with meager resources, and to the providers of the technology and those who manage local and global trade. High profit business opportunities Like other technological advances in agriculture, genetic engineering on its own is unlikely to address the big challenges that face resource-poor farmers.

Gould: Good question. Business with high profit Maybe the greatest value in the report is pointing out that there is no straightforward answer. Today high profit shares There has been a polarization of public opinion on GE crops, and please remember that researchers are not immune to such polarization. Best business ideas with low investment with high profit Once you or I conclude that GE crops are good or bad we look for more evidence to support our previous conclusion. Low budget high profit business I hope that people looking for our report to support a pro or con position on GE crops will initially be very disappointed in our report, but that they will read further to understand why we didn’t come to simple conclusions.

The Abstract: Having spent the better part of two years working on this report, what do you feel are the most important challenges ahead in regard to GE crops?

Gould: In the preface to our report, I quoted Dan Glickman, a former US Secretary of Agriculture who gave a speech on genetic engineering, and I will quote him again for you. High profit products to sell He said that “with all that technology has to offer, it is nothing if it’s not accepted. Low investment high profit business in bangalore This boils down to a matter of trust. Low investment and high profit business Trust in the science behind the process, but particularly trust in the regulatory process that ensures thorough review— including complete and open public involvement.”

We can’t gain the trust of members of the public in specific applications of GE simply based on technical or political authority, and emotionally appealing arguments about feeding the world will only go so far. High profit margin industries Real trust is going to depend on developing some products with clear societal benefits. High profit items to sell I actually think it is helpful to have some people not trust your actions and thereby hold you accountable.

Gould: There is an obvious need for public investment in GE of “orphan crops” – those crops where there is little attraction for the private sector on its own. High profit shares Public/private ventures could be useful if properly structured.

As I mentioned earlier, there are new, high-throughput technologies that can help identify intended and unintended changes in a crop’s characteristics that could result in risks. High profit crafts Although some of these technologies are well developed, others will require more research to be of greatest utility in assessing the future GE crops.

There are claims that we will need GE to feed the world in the future. Low cost high profit business There is uncertainty about this claim. Low cost high profit shares The committee concluded that the most efficient way to improve and stabilize crop yields will involve a combined approach that includes GE researchers and conventional breeders working together. Small business with high profit margin in india Of course feeding the world involves a lot more than just higher and more stable crop yields.

The Abstract: What role could NC State play in addressing these questions? Is the university already working on projects that address these challenges?

Gould: NC State is very active in GE crop research. Low investment high profit business in kerala This research spans from actual development of GE plants, to agronomic research on how best to use GE crops. High profit agriculture business in india NC State is also taking a lead in understanding the interface between GE and society. Businesses with high profit margins We need all of these kinds of research.

I think that the new Plant Science Initiative can do a lot to make NC State a leader and model for conducting advanced, trusted research in the GE crop development for both industrial farms and for resource-poor agricultural environments.

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