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English Audio Request

JannRuss
609 Words / 1 Recordings / 0 Comments

An overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety
research
Alessandro Nicolia1
*, Alberto Manzo2
, Fabio Veronesi1
, and Daniele Rosellini1
1
Department of Applied Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy and 2
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies
(MiPAAF), Rome, Italy
Abstract
The technology to produce genetically engineered (GE) plants is celebrating its 30th anniversary
and one of the major achievements has been the development of GE crops. The safety of GE
crops is crucial for their adoption and has been the object of intense research work often
ignored in the public debate. We have reviewed the scientific literature on GE crop safety
during the last 10 years, built a classified and manageable list of scientific papers, and analyzed
the distribution and composition of the published literature. We selected original research
papers, reviews, relevant opinions and reports addressing all the major issues that emerged
in the debate on GE crops, trying to catch the scientific consensus that has matured since GE
plants became widely cultivated worldwide. The scientific research conducted so far has not
detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of GE crops; however, the
debate is still intense. An improvement in the efficacy of scientific communication could have
a significant impact on the future of agricultural GE. Our collection of scientific records is
available to researchers, communicators and teachers at all levels to help create an informed,
balanced public perception on the important issue of GE use in agriculture.
Keywords
Biodiversity, environment, feed, food, gene
flow, –omics, substantial equivalence,
traceability
History
Received 17 December 2012
Revised 24 June 2013
Accepted 24 June 2013
Published online 13 September 2013
Introduction
Global food production must face several challenges such as
climate change, population growth, and competition for arable
lands. Healthy foods have to be produced with reduced
environmental impact and with less input from non-renewable
resources. Genetically engineered (GE) crops could be an
important tool in this scenario, but their release into the
environment and their use as food and feed has raised
concerns, especially in the European Union (EU) that has
adopted a more stringent regulatory framework compared to
other countries (Jaffe, 2004).
The safety of GE crops is crucial for their adoption and
has been the object of intense research work. The literature
produced over the years on GE crop safety is large (31 848
records up to 2006; Vain, 2007) and it started to accumulate
even before the introduction of the first GE crop in 1996. The
dilution of research reports with a large number of commentary
papers, their publication in journals with low impact factor and
their multidisciplinary nature have been regarded as negative
factors affecting the visibility of GE crop safety research (Vain,
2007). The EU recognized that the GE crop safety literature is
still often ignored in the public debate even if a specific peerreviewed journal (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/
displayJournal?jid=ebs) and a publicly accessible database
(http://bibliosafety.icgeb.org/) were created with the aim of
improving visibility (European Commission, 2010).
We built a classified and manageable list of scientific papers
on GE crop safety and analyzed the distribution and composition of the literature published from 2002 to October 2012.
The online databases PubMed and ISI Web of Science were
interrogated to retrieve the pertinent scientific records (Table
S1 – Supplementary material). We selected original research
papers, reviews, relevant opinions and reports addressing all
the major issues that emerged in the debate on GE crops. The
1783 scientific records collected are provided in .xls and .ris
file formats accessible through the common worksheet programs or reference manager software (Supplementary materials). They were classified under
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