This book covers a broad spectrum of topics related to GMOs and allied new gene-based technologies, biodiversity, and ecosystem processes, bringing together the contributions of researchers and regulators from around the world. The aim is to offer a clear view of the benefits and effects of genetically modified crops, insects, and other animals on the soil microbiome and ecological processes. Contributors examine issues related to the development of risk assessment procedures and regulations designed to maximize benefits while minimizing risks.
Beyond the scientific challenges of GMOs, the book explores the broad and contentious terrain of ethical considerations. The contributors discuss such questions as the unintended, possibly unforeseen, consequences of releasing GMOs into ecosystems, and the likelihood that the full effects of GMOs could take years, even decades, of close monitoring to become evident. The importance of developing a precautionary approach is stressed.
The final chapter describes the critical issues of governance and regulation of new and emerging gene-based technologies, as nations grapple with the consequences of adopting the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB). GMOs: Implications for Biodiversity Conservation and Ecological Processes includes an extensive Annex which outlines legal perspectives on the state of GMO governance around the world, with more than 20 examples from nations in Africa, South and Central America, Asia, Australasia, and Europe.
2. Brief Overview and History of Biotechnology; GMOs, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Functioning
3. Impact of GMOs on Environment and Ecology
4. GMOs: Impact on Genetic Diversity, Gene Flow, and Evolutionary Challenges
5. GM Crops and Agricultural Biodiversity; Impact on Agro-Ecosystem and Farmland Biodiversity
7. Biodiversity and Non-Target Effects of Transgenic Plants; GM Crops and Insect, Honeybee, Butterflies Biodiversity
8. GM Crops and Microbial Biodiversity; Impact on Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi
9. GM Animals: Impact on Biodiversity, Ecosystem, and Bioethical Analysis
10. Genetically Engineered Fish: Impact on Biodiversity, Environment, and Aquaculture
11. Genetically Engineered Insects: Ecological Effect and Disease Control
12. Genetically Modified Microbes: Impact on Ecology, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Functioning
13. Gene Editing Technology: Impact on Environment, Ecology, and Biodiversity
14. Engineered Gene Drives: Ecological, Environmental, and Social Impacts
15. Emerging Technologies and Application and Genetic Engineering for Biological Conservation, and Species Rescue from Extinction
Anurag Chaurasia, a biotechnologist working with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Government of India, is a pioneer worker on transgenics/GMOs in the country. He has served as faculty 'Molecular biology and biotechnology' at NRC on Plant Biotechnology, IARI, PUSA, New Delhi, and has established the National Bureau on Agriculturally Important Microorganisms (NBAIM) at Mau, Uttar Pradesh. His opinion articles in Nature journal have been accepted by the government in formulating the GM and New Education Policy of the nation. He has been serving on the board of many reputed journals.
David L. Hawksworth is a former President of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), an Honorary President of the International Mycological Association (IMA), the last Director of the International Mycological Institute, and was subsequently employed as a research professor in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Primarily a mycologist, but with wide wide-ranging interests in the environment and the natural world, he was involved in the production of sections of the Global Biodiversity Assessment (UNEP 1995), served on working groups of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), involved in discussions of the risks posed by GMOs in the late 1990s, and has been Editor-in-Chief of Biodiversity and Conservation since 2006. He has authored, edited or co-edited over 50 books, including Advancing Agricultural Production in Africa and Microbial Diversity and Ecosystem Function and served as one of the editors of six editions of the International Code of Nomenclature of Algae, Fungi, and Plants. In 1996 he was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by HM Queen Elizabeth II for services to science. He lives in Surrey with his wife Patricia Wiltshire, a leading forensic scientist, and both are involved in local politics as independent District Councillors. Currently, he is an Honorary Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and a Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum London.
Manoela Pessoa de Miranda has worked at the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity for eleven years, initially as a risk assessment and risk management specialist and later as the Head of the Biosafety Unit. Among her responsibilities under the Convention, she facilitated a number of technical and intergovernmental science-policy dialogues and negotiations on issues such as synthetic biology and environmental risk assessment of genetically modified organisms. She is has a PhD in molecular biology and a Master degree in agriculture.