QWhat will be done to avoid unsafe uses of GMOs, such as herbicide resistant GMO crops which allow for increasingly potent herbicides to be used, destroying environments and threatening consumers health?

What will be done to avoid unsafe uses of GMOs, such as herbicide resistant GMO crops which allow for increasingly potent herbicides to be used, destroying environments and threatening consumers health?

AExpert Answer

GM crops and crop protection chemicals are among the most highly regulated agricultural tools. The U.S. EPA evaluates the use of herbicides on both GM and non-GM crops and any potential effects on the environment, farm-workers, livestock, and consumers. In addition to U.S. EPA evaluation, the FDA reviews GM crops for their equivalence to non-GM versions and their safety for use in food and feed, and the USDA reviews these crops for their effects on the environment and on U.S. farm practices. For GM crops that provide protection from pests, the U.S. EPA registers the products after thoroughly reviewing their environmental and human health effects. The U.S. EPA also registers crop protection chemicals that are used on GM and conventional crops and, where necessary, requires safeguards for how they are used, so as to minimize environmental impacts, such as on bees, other beneficial organisms, aquatic habitats and endangered species. The U.S. EPA conducts robust risk assessments and sets thresholds for maximum residues of these chemicals and their breakdown products on harvested produce so that they do not affect consumer health.

 

The industry is very careful about the choice of GM crops that are developed, as well as the crop protection chemicals that are used, to enhance U.S. agricultural productivity without harming the environment.

Posted on March 9, 2018
Hello, and thank you for your question! Scientists commonly use genetically engineering (GE) to add and subtract genes from ALL sorts of plants, from common weeds to potatoes from the Andes. Most GE is performed only to learn how plants work. While it’s relatively simple to change a plant’s genetics, it’s difficult and expensive to actually improve a plant’s genetics. Thus, only the most “important” crops are targets for GE. Smaller improvements are... Read More
Answer:
Posted on March 8, 2018
Hello, and thank you for your question! Scientists commonly use genetically engineering (GE) to add and subtract genes from ALL sorts of plants, from common weeds to potatoes from the Andes. Most GE is performed only to learn how plants work. While it’s relatively simple to change a plant’s genetics, it’s difficult and expensive to actually improve a plant’s genetics. Thus, only the most “important” crops are targets for GE. Smaller improvements are... Read More
Posted on March 9, 2018
Anyone who has traveled through the Southeast and seen kudzu vines along the highway knows that plants can evolve into a negative outcome. There is a similar concern that a GMO can produce negative outcomes in the environment.  Therefore, prior to approving their commercial planting, GMOs must be tested in contained field trials to ensure that they do not behave in ways that could cause problems. To prevent negative outcomes, GMOs must not have the ability to cross with wild... Read More