Genetically modified crops: methodology, benefits, regulation and public concerns

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Halford, N. G. and Shewry, P. R. 2000. Genetically modified crops: methodology, benefits, regulation and public concerns. British Medical Bulletin. 56 (1), pp. 62-73.

AuthorsHalford, N. G. and Shewry, P. R.

The genetic modification of crop plants from the methodology involved in their production through to the current debate on their use in agriculture are reviewed. Techniques for plant transformation by Agrobacterium tumefaciens and particle bombardment, and for the selection of transgenic plants using marker genes are described. The benefits of currently available genetically modified (GM) crops in reducing waste and agrochemical use in agriculture, and the potential of the technology for further crop improvement in the future are discussed. The legal requirements for containment of novel GM crops and the roles of relevant regulatory bodies in ensuring that GM crops and food are safe are summarized. Some of the major concerns of the general public regarding GM crops and food: segregation of GM and non-GM crops and cross-pollination between GM crops and wild species, the use of antibiotic resistance marker genes, the prevention of new allergens being introduced in to the food chain and the relative safety of GM and non-GM foods are considered. Finally, the current debate on the use of GM crops in agriculture and the need for the government, scientists and industry to persevere with the technology in the face of widespread hostility is studied.

KeywordsConsumer Product Safety; Crops, Agricultural/*genetics; Food Technology; Genetic Engineering/legislation & jurisprudence/*methods; Humans; Plants, Genetically Modified; Public Opinion
Year of Publication2000
JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
Journal citation56 (1), pp. 62-73
Open accessPublished as non-open access

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