Genetically Engineered Crops

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Science
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Over the last two decades, the life sciences industry has made enormous investments in biotechnology research and development; thrown tremendous energy into getting its genetically engineered (GE) crops approved, patented, and commercialized; and lobbied U…

Introduction

They have devoted considerable sums of money to biotechnology research (Gottweis 1998), taken significant strides to deregulate the industry (Wright 1994), and sought to promote the spread of U. S.-style intellectual property rights in the World Trade Organization. The U. S. government in particular has also promoted the dissemination of agricultural biotechnology in developing countries through the U. S. Agency for International Development.
With so much economic and political muscle propelling them, it is not surprising that GE crops hit the ground running when they came onto the scene in the mid-1990s. But what is surprising is that the rapid growth in GE crop deployment has been matched by an equally remarkable (and perhaps historically unprecedented) proliferation of citizens' voices challenging the biotechnology industry on economic, environmental, cultural, and moral grounds. Indeed, long before transgenic crops made their way to the market, individuals and groups concerned about the dissemination of these new technologies were already questioning their safety, utility, and necessity.
Advances in genetics have reached a stage where breeding schemes can now be augmented with the use of a number of technologies. ...
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