Genetically Modified Plants

Assessing Safety and Managing Risk


  • Roger Hull, John Innes Center, Norwich, UK
  • G. Tzotzos, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Austria
  • Graham Head, Monsanto LLC, St. Louis, MO, USA

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.
View full description


plant scientists studying genetically modified crops; agricultural engineers; agronomists; researchers; industrialists; lawyers; students; regulators


Book information

  • Published: July 2009
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-374106-6


"Overall, the authors have done a highly commendable job of compiling, organizing, and explaining in clear, unbiased language what is involved in getting a GM product through the current national and international regulatory schemes."     -- Professor Kent J. Bradford, Seed Biotechnology Center, University of California, Davis, CA, USA

Table of Contents

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