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Genetically modified organisms in the United States: implementation, concerns, and public perception.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


We examine the state of biotechnology with respect to genetically modified (GM) organisms in agriculture. Our focus is on the USA, where there has been significant progress and implementation but where, to date, the matter has drawn little attention. GM organisms are the result of lateral gene transfers, the transfer of genes from one species to another, or sometimes, from one kingdom to another. The introduction of foreign genes makes some people very uncomfortable, and a small group of activists have grave concerns about the technology. Attempts by activists to build concern in the general public have garnered little attention; however, the producers of GM organisms have responded to their concerns and established extensive testing programs to be applied to each candidate organism that is produced. In the meantime, GM varieties of corn, cotton, soybean and rapeseed have been put into agricultural production and are now extensively planted. These crops, and the other, newer GM crops, have produced no problems and have pioneered a silent agricultural revolution in the USA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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