National Research Council appoints UNT researcher to study pros and cons of genetically modified crops

Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 20:36

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The National Research Council has appointed UNT Distinguished Research Professor Richard Dixon to serve on a committee examining the history, safety, benefits and drawbacks of genetically modified crops around the world. The committee's work will be published by the National Academy of Sciences.

"Improvements to agriculture are critical for the challenges we face this century from population growth and climate change. The debate on deployment of genetically modified crops as one component of our response to these challenges needs to be driven by hard scientific evidence from multiple disciplines," Dixon said. "I am honored to contribute to this committee evaluating the future and safety of genetically modified crops."

The committee will research several aspects of genetically engineered crops, including:

  • The history of the development and introduction of engineered crops around the world
  • Purported benefits and drawbacks of engineered crops, including changes in pesticide use and effects on human health
  • The scientific foundation of environmental and food safety assessments for engineered crops and possible needs for additional assessments
  • New developments, opportunities and challenges in genetically engineered crop science and technology

The committee also will outline information gaps about the economic, agronomic, health, safety and other impacts of genetically engineered crops and food, and will recommend research and other measures to fill those gaps. The committee's findings will be presented in the context of the world's current and projected future food and agricultural system, and will be available for the public, policy makers and others.

UNT News Service
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