Biotech Updates

Scientists Develop Framework to Monitor Second-Generation Transgenic Crops

August 27, 2010

A scientific framework for monitoring the release of second-generation genetically modified (GM) crops was designed by a team of scientists from across Canada. Learning from the lessons of releasing first generation GM crops now being discovered in wild canola in Canada and the US, the team developed a post release monitoring protocol for the second generation GM crops.

Second-generation transgenic crops include GM crops which tolerate environmental stress such as drought, cold, salt, heat, or flood as well as increased yield or lower nutrient requirements, or increase tolerance to disease and pathogens.

The concrete steps are outlined for each of the four phases of the framework that include (1) defining the problem; (2) project management and monitoring procedure; (3) implementation; and (4) regulatory decision. The authors of the paper published in the Crop Science Society of America concluded "that this post release monitoring, through a comprehensive, pragmatic and science-based framework, can effectively address the greater uncertainties in the environmental risk assessment of these second-generation vs. first-generation transgenic crops and thereby enhance environmental protection and security of the food supply".

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