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Molina Fernández, Antonio
"Current Opinion in Biotechnology", v. 21
The first decade of the 21st century has seen an intense debate of the potential contribution of Plant Biotechnology to meeting present and future world demands of food and biomass. The discussion started in 1997 when the first genetically modified (GM) crops were approved by the EPA for commercial production. The debate has been later stimulated by the increasing awareness of the potential effects of global climate change on agricultural production, as the current crops may be poorly adapted to the additional biotic and abiotic stresses caused by the change. Although cultivation of GM crops now exceeds 120 million hectares, the impact of plant biotechnology on agriculture is, surprisingly, still a matter of debate. While some groups oppose this technology for environmental and food security reasons, farmers are eager to adopt it and the overwhelming majority of scientists is demanding greater investments in plant biology and agricultural research, as well as a greater effort to translate lab results into field applications. Additionally, there is a demand to further extend plant biotechnology to other crops, such as those relevant for developing countries and those related to bioenergy production and green chemical products
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