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Transgenic plants and world agriculture

This report outlines the conclusions and recommendations of an international expert working group. Representatives from the national academies of sciences in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, the UK, and the USA, and the Third World Academy of Sciences came together to consider GM technology in a global context, and its possible impacts on food security, public health and the environment.

The authors recognise a role for GM technology in the production of food that is more nutritious and stable in storage, and that might enable the delivery of specific health advantages to consumers. Such technologies, they argue, should be made freely available to farmers in developing countries.

The report calls for cooperative efforts between the public and private sectors to develop GM-derived technologies that will benefit consumers worldwide, and argues that governments should set up suitable public health regulatory systems to ensure that food derived from this technology is as safe as that derived from non-GM methods. In addition, the authors recommend a thorough investigation of any environmental impacts, both positive and negative, of the cultivation of GM crops as compared with conventional agriculture.

A balanced and informative report with a global perspective, with particular emphasis on the needs developing nations.

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