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Transgenic Crops Contribute to Sustainable Development

December 21, 2010
The Plant Biotechnology Journal has an article in its January edition on the use of transgenic crops in meeting sustainable development goals.

The concept of sustainable development forms the basis for a wide variety of international and national policymaking. 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, the authors 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.