Monitoring

Monitoring in biotechnology has different meanings and interpretations depending on individual perspectives or circumstances. In one sense, monitoring is the measuring and comparison of new plant varieties for relative performance and is a normal component of all stages of research and development. However, with the emergence of modern biotechnology, speculation about potential harm from GMOs introduced into the environment has shifted the focus of monitoring to following the fate of these organisms and the transgenes they carry and to be vigilant for unanticipated consequences.

Background

Historically, monitoring programs in association with field-test releases of genetically modified organisms have been called for, explicitly or implicitly, as part of the regulatory agenda or as part of risk-management schemes. For example, in European Commission Directive 2001/18/EC10 for releases of genetically modified organisms, Annex VII clearly describes the objective and general prin

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