IPG's Commitment to Biosafety
Protection from, and control of, plant
diseases is currently achieved through a variety of methods, including
chemical sprays, natural genetic resistance, sanitation and quarantine.
Typically, chemical sprays are methods of last resort, since control through
the use of chemicals is costly and in many cases environmentally unsound.
There is a very real risk associated with the use of agricultural chemicals
as pesticides. In many cases, there are no alternatives to the use
of hazardous pesticides, and limited use is allowed in the U.S. Where
there are safer alternatives, more hazardous pesticides, such as lead arsenate
and DTT, are banned in the U.S. Such banned pesticides are not necessarily
banned by other countries, however, and we may be importing cheaper produce
into the U.S. that has been treated with chemicals banned for use here.
At IPG, our goal is to make Florida's producers more competitive and their
produce safer, by eliminating the need to rely on chemical controls.
Genetic engineering is the process
of using recombinant DNA to place a gene or genes of defined characteristics
into an organism of interest. As such, it is not a random process
of genetic recombination, as breeding is, but is a very precise addition
or deletion of genetic materials. The process of genetic engineering
allows genes to be transferred from one species to another. There
are several pathogens that have been transferring genes more or less randomly
since they evolved, including viruses and bacteria such as Agrobacterium
tumefaciens. The National Academy of Sciences declared
to the U.S. Congress that, "The risks associated with the introduction
of genetically engineered organisms are the same in kind as those associated
with the introduction of unmodified organisms and organisms modified by
For more detailed information on the Science Behind Risk Assessment, visit the
USDA/ U.F. web site:
Biotechnology Risk Assessment Data
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