The risk assessor needs to be aware of the spatial and temporal scale of GMO introductions. Questions may change as the size of the area being planted changes. For example, some questions pertaining to commercial-scale release cannot be answered by data from small-scale field tests (e.g., probability of gene transfer). Low-probability events are more likely to occur when large numbers of plants are cultivated. Differences in scale may have profound effects on the ability to provide meaningful monitoring when called for, or to devise reasonable and affordable methods to monitor specific events of concern (see section five, "Monitoring"). Fortunately, the normal progression of genetically modified crop plants allows for the accumulation of useful information as the GM product progresses from the laboratory to the market.

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