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What farmers need to know about transgenic crops

(Jan. 23, 2002 CropChoice news) Here is a resource for farmers from the project, Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA). To view the full publication, go to http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/geneticeng.pdf

Abstract: This publication attempts to define for farmers and ranchers some of the key issues related to transgenic crops. It explains what genetic engineering is, and examines the costs and benefits to farmers of transgenic versus conventional crop varieties. However, this publication cannot provide definitive answers or recommendations because independent scientific and socioeconomic analyses of transgenic crops are limited, with many questions still unanswered. In addition, how well transgenic technology works for farmers depends on the characteristics of each specific crop variety, the system in which it is placed, the skill with which it is managed, and the markets for which it is destined.

Table of Contents:

  • What Are Transgenic Crops?
  • How Is Gene Transfer Accomplished?
  • Commercial Transgenic Crops and Their Traits
  • Unresolved Issues of Concern
  • Ecological Issues
  • Food Safety
  • Farm Management Issues
  • Crop Yield, Costs, and Profitability
  • Marketing and Trade
  • Liability Influence on Public Research
  • Industry Concentration and Farmers' Right to Save Seed
  • Regulation of Transgenic Crops
  • Implications for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Framework for gauging a technology's impact on agricultural sustainability
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Further Resources
  • Appendix 1: GMO Issues Facing Indiana Farmers in 2001
  • Appendix 2: Wheat Industry Is Cautious on Biotech Introduction
  • Appendix 3: On the Implications of the Percy Schmeiser Decision
  • Appendix 4: A History of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) For more informatio contact:

    Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA)
    P.O. Box 3657
    Fayetteville, AR 72702
    501-442-9842 Fax

    ATTRA is a project of NCAT - National Center for Appropriate Technology