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The State of Food and Agriculture 2003-2004

Agricultural Biotechnology - Meeting the Needs of the Poor?

image of The State of Food and Agriculture 2003-2004

The potential of agricultural biotechnology, especially transgenic crops, to meet the needs of the poor, is explored in this report. An analysis of the socio-economic impacts of technological change in agriculture is discussed, and the safety of transgenic crops for human health and the environment is examined.

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What is agricultural biotechnology?

Broadly speaking, biotechnology is any technique that uses living organisms or substances from these organisms to make or modify a product for a practical purpose (Box 2). Biotechnology can be applied to all classes of organism – from viruses and bacteria to plants and animals – and it is becoming a major feature of modern medicine, agriculture and industry. Modern agricultural biotechnology includes a range of tools that scientists employ to understand and manipulate the genetic make-up of organisms for use in the production or processing of agricultural products.

English

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