Experimentation

When field testing of genetically modified microorganisms first began in the United States, assumptions regarding monitoring needs led to ill-conceived and expensive protocols. Perhaps because little experience and no experimental evidence were available to draw upon, unproven methods were often chosen. During the course of field testing, it was discovered that these monitoring procedures were inadequate (i.e., inappropriately timed, provided poorly discriminated detection, or

Figure 3. Influences on the difficulty of monitoring. Spatial and temporal considerations influence the degree of monitoring difficulty and expense. Monitoring conducted early and near the test plot or large-scale field is relatively simple and cheap compared with later or longer term plans carried out over a larger area.

Spatial Scale

In-field Near field

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