Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fighting GM crop vandalism with a government-protected research site

Date:
February 28, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Genetically modified (GM) crops have been a source of great controversy -- particularly in Europe -- but acts of vandalism and associated security costs have made scientific evidence about the health and ecological impacts of those crops hard to come by. A Swiss government-protected field site dedicated for use in GM crop studies could serve as an example to other European countries interested in pursuing crop biotechnology, according to a new article.

This shows the protected field site at the Agroscope research station at Reckenholz, Zurich.
Credit: Agroscope

Genetically modified (GM) crops have been a source of great controversy -- particularly in Europe -- but acts of vandalism and associated security costs have made scientific evidence about the health and ecological impacts of those crops hard to come by. A Swiss government-protected field site dedicated for use in GM crop studies could serve as an example to other European countries interested in pursuing crop biotechnology, according to an article published Feb. 28 in Trends in Biotechnology, a Cell Press publication.

The protected field site will now enable research groups to conduct experiments without having to install and pay for security measures. The research station is expected to operate with an annual budget of €600,000.

"This could be a model for other European countries that wish to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of GM crops in an objective and scientific manner with less risk of vandalism," said Jφrg Romeis of Zurich's Agroscope Reckenholz-Tδnikon Research Station.

As of 2010, opponents of genetic modification had destroyed more than 100 field trials in Europe. At the Reckenholz site, a group of more than 30 masked activists threatened researchers and destroyed about 30 percent of the experimental plants in a 2008 field trial.

The new protected field site will provide GM crop researchers with all the technical security measures needed to guard against such attacks, including perimeter fencing, round-the-clock guarding and surveillance of the experimental field, and an alarm system.

Romeis and his colleagues say that vandalism and its associated costs appear to be a major factor in the steady decline of European GM research, a situation that they call unacceptable.

In many parts of the world, GM crops are gaining popularity. In 2011, as much as 10 percent of the world's arable crop area was planted with GM crops. However, the adoption of GM plants has been very low in Europe, with only two GM crops approved for cultivation: Bt maize and a starch-modified potato. No GM crop is approved for commercial release in Switzerland, where there is a voter-approved moratorium in place through 2017. However, scientific research, including field experiments with GM plants, is permitted.

Romeis says that the establishment of such protected sites could eventually reverse the decline in GM field trials and strengthen plant biotechnology research in Europe.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jorg Romeis, Michael Meissle, Susanne Brunner, Denise Tschamper, Michael Winzeler. Plant biotechnology: research behind fences. Trends in Biotechnology, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2013.01.020

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Fighting GM crop vandalism with a government-protected research site." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228124134.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, February 28). Fighting GM crop vandalism with a government-protected research site. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228124134.htm
Cell Press. "Fighting GM crop vandalism with a government-protected research site." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228124134.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) — Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) — With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) — Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins