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The role of transgenic crops for sustainable development

Park, J., McFarlane, I., Phipps, R. H. and Ceddia, M. G. (2011) The role of transgenic crops for sustainable development. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 9 (1). pp. 2-21. ISSN 1467-7652

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7652.2010.00565.x

Abstract/Summary

The concept of sustainable development forms the basis for a wide variety of international and national policy making. World population continues to expand at about 80 M people per year, while the demand for natural resources continues to escalate. Important policies, treaties and goals underpin the notion of sustainable development. In this paper, we discuss and evaluate a range of scientific literature pertaining to the use of transgenic crops in meeting sustainable development goals. It is concluded that a considerable body of evidence has accrued since the first commercial growing of transgenic crops, which suggests that they can contribute in all three traditional pillars of sustainability, i.e. economically, environmentally and socially. Management of herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant transgenic crops to minimize the risk of weeds and pests developing resistance is discussed, together with the associated concern about the risk of loss of biodiversity. As the world population continues to rise, the evidence reviewed here suggests it would be unwise to ignore transgenic crops as one of the tools that can help meet aspirations for increasingly sustainable global development.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:15991
Uncontrolled Keywords:transgenic;sustainable;biodiversity;economic;environment; social
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell

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