Preparing for the Future

Technological and regulatory uncertainties

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Technological and regulatory uncertainties.

The product landscape and the regulatory landscape for new transgenic-derived products are evolving. With an evolving regulatory system, it is uncertain how quickly new applications (as food, seeds, drugs, or new industrial compounds) will reach the marketplace, here or in other countries. Which products will make it to the U.S. or global marketplaces, who will reap the benefits, and where? Will new products developed using the wealth of new genomic information be transgenic varieties, or will they be non-transgenic varieties developed through knowledge-based, marker-assisted selection techniques? Will food safety issues arising in conventional, organic, biotech, or other new production systems lead to a need for new regulation? Will US farmers continue to be concerned about their ability to compete with farmers in South America and China?

Will concerns regarding the deployment of transgenic plants producing plant-based pharmaceuticals in food crops inhibit or severely restrict their cultivation? Will production of these or other products move offshore in response to economic or regulatory considerations? Will transgenic products with significant consumer pull, perhaps “nutriceutical products” or others, reach the marketplace in any quantity? To what extent will parallel technologies emerge that may compete with transgenic products for use in agriculture?

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