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Environmental Risks And Biosafety: Genetically Modified Organisms — A Future Case

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Chapter Summary

Products of modern biotechnology are generally referred to as "genetically modified organisms" (GMOs), "biotechnology products," or "living modified organisms" (LMOs). They can also be called "transgenic" or "bio-engineered" organisms. In less than a decade, genetically modified foods have been widely adopted in some parts of the world. Biotechnology can be beneficial by, among other things, increasing yield to better meet food needs, and reducing pesticide use. Yet science has not fully explored the potential environmental and health risks. Potential environmental risks include ecosystem disruption or weed proliferation. The European Communities—Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products (EC-Biotech) report addressed the role of the Convention on Biodiversity, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and the precautionary principle. The EC urged the panel to consider the risk assessment and precautionary principle rules reflected in the Biosafety Protocol, as the body of international law specifically created to manage GMOs.

Keywords: biosafety; cartagena protocol; EC-Biotech report; genetically modified organisms (GMOs); health risks; international law; living modified organisms (LMOs); modern biotechnology; potential environmental risks



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