Experts weigh in on genetically engineered crops

Image: Genetically engineered crops

Corn is one of the best-known genetically engineered crops. (Credit: NIEHS)

A scientific analysis backed by the National Academies finds no evidence that genetically engineered crops pose heightened health risks or environmental problems, but points up subtler concerns about the technology.

Today’s 420-page report says the impact of genetic engineering for resistance to insects and herbicides has been mostly positive, due to a decrease of pests and crop losses. The outcomes vary widely, however. If proper pest management practices aren’t followed, insects and weeds can evolve to overcome the crops’ built-in resistance. That presents a “major agronomic problem,” the report says.

“Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects” was drawn up by a committee comprising more than a dozen experts, with the support of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine. The experts delved into nearly 900 publications about genetically engineered corn, soybeans and cotton, which account for almost all of today’s commercial genetically engineered crops.

The experts also heard from 80 speakers during a series of public meetings, and read through 700 comments from members of the public.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Aerospace and science editor for GeekWire, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
This entry was posted in GeekWire and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.