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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Fielding Questions on Biotech Crops
15 December 1999 3:00 pm
The often vitriolic debate over the risks and promise of genetically modified (GM) foods--are they "Frankenfoods" or a boon that will allow farmers to slash pesticide use?--has generated a flood of Web sites, many partisan. Here are two that strive for a middle-of-the-road view.
Aiming to "provide a balanced perspective," especially on the ecological risks of transgenic crops, is this site sponsored by Virginia Tech and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One standout feature is a monthly newsletter in which scientists write brief articles summing up the latest research and policy news. (December's coverage, for example, includes a study of gene flow between cultivated and wild beets and a widely reported meeting in Chicago on altered corn and monarch butterflies.) The site also taps a database of proposed field trials of GM crops. Monsanto leads with over 1500 requests, one can learn; crops in the pipeline range from drought-tolerant Kentucky bluegrass to virus-resistant grapes. Another section covers risk assessment, from workshop proceedings to biosafety committees.
For policy news in the United Kingdom, try this university site, where you can read Prince Charles's 10 questions about transgenic foods posed in the Daily Mail last summer--along with a scientist's response--or learn which stores have offered GM products. (The list includes Marks and Spencer, which has sold jelly beans made with transgenic corn.) The site also contrasts regulatory approaches in the United States and Europe and offers a ton of links, from Greenpeace to biotech companies.
The U.S. government has lately launched a campaign to allay fears about biotech crops. For speeches, public meetings, links to agencies, and the like, visit this site.