RESOURCE: Background Check for Beans

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Science  22 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5598, pp. 1521
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5598.1521b

Just to be on the safe side, the U.S. government last week ordered a biotechnology company to destroy 500,000 bushels of soybeans contaminated with corn genetically engineered to produce a drug. Now there is a way to keep abreast of which transgenic crops—from rice and corn to papaya and tobacco—have received approval for human or animal consumption or for release in more than two dozen countries worldwide.

Agbios, an independent company in Merrickville, Ontario, Canada, that provides information to regulators, policymakers, and academics, maintains a crop database that allows the user to search by criteria such as species, traits (for example, male sterility or delayed ripening), and regulatory status. The site also includes risk-assessment training modules, based on a real-world case of insecticide-producing maize, to help readers understand the product-approval process. There's also a bibliographic database with more than 1400 papers about biosafety and genetically modified organisms.

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