|PROS and CONS of Transgenic Crops: Scientific Challenges|
THE MORE WE LEARN,THE MORE WE CAN DO
With the sequencing and annotation of plant genomes, researchers will gain ever greater ability to carefully tailor plants to produce specific proteins and be more productive while producing safe, healthy foods with minimal environmental impact.
CLAIMS ARE OVERBLOWN
One of the constant refrains by opponents of transgenic plants is that “claims are overblown.” Researchers and biotech companies talk about the “potential” of genetically modified plants to deliver more nutritious food, more productive crops, and inexpensive medicines, but they have been slow to deliver. At the same time, consumer resistance has slowed funding for the research.
In addition to the challenge of delivering on bold promises, scientists face technical challenges that may be more difficult to overcome than they like to admit. Dealing with pest-resistance to crops containing pesticide genes; handling the problem of gene flow; designing terminator technology that protects the environment but doesn't harm the farmer economically-these are all problems that will challenge scientists for years to come.