Genetically Modified Plants

Assessing Safety and Managing Risk
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Roger Hull graduated in botany from Cambridge University and undertook his graduate studies in plant virus diagnostics and epidemiology at London University. He lectured on agricultural botany there and at Makerere University in Uganda. In 1965 he moved to fundamental studies of plant viruses, first at Cambridge in the United Kingdom and then at the John Innes Institute (now Centre) in Norwich. He spent a sabbatical year (1974) at University of California, Davis, where he learnt the fundamentals of the newly developing molecular biology technology. He applied to this to plant virus characterisation, diagnostics and virus control, especially in tropical crops such as rice and plantain bananas. He retired in 1997 but continued research, lecturing and book writing. Dr Hull was an honorary professor at University of East Anglia in the UK and Peking and Fudan Universities in China, a Doctoris Honoris Causa at the University of Perpignan in France, and a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers on plant virology and more than 40 reviews in scientific journals, and has authored five books. In retirement Roger Hull also became involved in promoting the uptake of transgenic technology by developing countries as one approach to alleviating food insecurity. He was on the International faculty of the e-learning diploma course training decision makers, mainly in developing countries, in plant biotechnology regulation.George Tzotzos received his education in the UK where he obtained two PhD degrees at the University of Bristol (School of Chemistry) and the Open University (Dept. of Health, Life & Chemical Sciences). Until 2011, he worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). More recently, he was affiliated at the Vale Institute of Sustainable Development (Belém, PA, Brazil) as a principal researcher (pesquisador titular) in charge of the Biotechnology and Biodiversity research group. During his tenure at UNIDO, he established and managed an international biosafety training network with partners at the Universities of Concepción (Chile), Gent (Belgium), and Marche (Italy). He organised and taught in numerous GMO risk assessment workshops.

His academic and publication records can be seen at:
Loop: Graham Head is the Global Head of Resistance Management at Bayer Crop Science in St Louis, MO. Graham received his B.Sc. Honours degree in Zoology from Monash University in Australia and his Ph.D. in Ecology and Population Genetics from Princeton University. He has spent 23 years working on agricultural biotechnologies first at Monsanto Company and now at Bayer Crop Science in a variety of roles ranging from Discovery to Regulatory Sciences. Two areas of focus throughout his career have been assessing the environmental impacts of biotechnology and designing effective resistance management strategies for agricultural pests. He has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and represents Bayer Crop Science on a number of industry expert groups.
Chapter 1. INTRODUCTIONConventional ApproachImprovementEffectsRisk Assessment MethodologiesTechnologyChapter 2. RISK SOURCE CHARACTERISATIONProperties of donor organism Properties of recipient organismDNASelectable MarkersChapter 3. EXPOSURE ASSESSMENTRelease sites PerformanceBiological Properties Impact on Human HealthImpact on AnimalsImpact on the EnvironmentCase StudiesChapter 4. RISK ASSESSMENT & RISK MANAGEMENT ? HUMAN HEALTHAllergiesUnintentional Toxins Resistance of Microbes to AntibioticsMitigation and Containment ApproachesCase StudiesChapter 5. RISK ASSESSMENT & RISK MANAGEMENT ? ENVIRONMENTAgricultural Environment Peri-agricultural and ?natural? environmentSpread of Transgenes to non-GM cropsGene Flow to Weeds and Feral Crop SpeciesImpact on Biodiversity of Crop Species and Wild Flora and Fauna Generation of ?Superweeds?Case StudiesStewardship ProceduresCo-existence of GM and non-GM cropsTesting for GM Modifying Agronomic PracticesChapter 6. REGULATORY SYSTEMSCurrent framework of GM regulation International Conventions and Agreements Major Regulatory SystemsMajor Sources of Information.Chapter 7 THE POLITICS OF GM TECHNOLOGYDevelopment of Regulation of GM CropsRisk Perception Understanding the Scientific ProcessBioethical Aspects Roles of NGOs, the media and industry. Chapter 8 THE FUTURE OF GM TECHNOLOGYThe Future of GM Products Technology Evolution of Regulatory Structures AppendicesFurther Reading ListUseful Internet Sites
A transgenic organism is a plant, animal, bacterium, or other living organism that has had a foreign gene added to it by means of genetic engineering. Transgenic plants can arise by natural movement of genes between species, by cross-pollination based hybridization between different plant species (which is a common event in flowering plant evolution), or by laboratory manipulations by artificial insertion of genes from another species. Methods used in traditional breeding that generate transgenic plants by non-recombinant methods are widely familiar to professional plant scientists, and serve important roles in securing a sustainable future for agriculture by protecting crops from pest and helping land and water to be used more efficiently.There is worldwide interest in the biosafety issues related to transgenic crops because of issues such as increased pesticide use, increased crop and weed resistance to pesticides, gene flow to related plant species, negative effects on nontarget organisms, and reduced crop and ecosystem diversity. This book is intended to provide the basic information for a wide range of people involved in the release of transgenic crops. These will include scientists and researchers in the initial stage of developing transgenic products, industrialists, and decision makers. It will be of particular interest to plant scientists taking up biotechnological approaches to agricultural improvement for developing nations.

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