Table 1

From the following article

Strangled at birth? Forest biotech and the Convention on Biological Diversity

Steven H. Strauss, Huimin Tan, Wout Boerjan & Roger Sedjo

Nature Biotechnology 27, 519 - 527 (2009)



Table 1. Views of major scientific and professional societies on evaluation of genetically engineered crops and trees

OrganizationYear createdNumber of membersTotal expenses at end of 2006Quotation or position

aObtained from reports and web pages that suggest a position on genetic engineering, not an official position statement.

bAnnual expenses at end of 2005.

cBased on policy statement or position statement. NA, not available. Annual expenses for FAO, ISAS, NABC, IUFRO and WHO not available.

American Medical Associationa1847approx278,000$222,344,781b"Federal regulatory oversight of agricultural biotechnology should continue to be science-based and guided by the characteristics of the plant, its intended use, and the environment into which it is to be introduced, not by the method used to produce it..."
American Council on Science and Healthc1977NA$1,845,871"Current regulatory scrutiny, plus the excellent track record of GM food safety, gives us confidence that GM foods are rigorously scrutinized and that the technology is safe." <>
American Society of Plant Biologistsc (ASPB)1924approx5,000$5,418,347"ASPB strongly endorses continued responsible development and science-based oversight of GE and all food production technologies and practices on a case-by-case basis." <>
American Seed Trade Association (ASTA)c1883approx850 companies$3,006,991"ASTA strongly supports the safe use of new modern genetic methods in the continuing effort to improve crop varieties. The safety of crops modified by modern biotechnology is ensured through a most rigorous and comprehensive set of regulatory systems. The resulting varieties hold great promise for improving the food and feed supply of the world and promoting environmental sustainability, just as past accomplishments of plant breeders have benefited the world." <>
American Phytopathological Societyc (APS)1908approx5,000$3,572,946"(APS)... supports biotechnology as a means for improving plant health, food safety, and sustainable growth in plant productivity." <>
Council for Agricultural Science and Technologyc1972approx38 scientific societies$767,789"Retain the current case-by-case safety assessment approach and continue to emphasize regulatory conditions carefully tailored to address risks identified for individual biotechnology-derived plant products. Agencies must maintain the flexibility to assure that rigorous, science-based safety assessments are conducted for each new product or product category." <>
Ecological Society of Americac1978approx8,000$3,609,200"GEOs have the potential to play a positive role in sustainable agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, bioremediation, and environmental management, both in developed and developing countries." "We reaffirm that risk evaluations of GEOs should focus on the phenotype or product rather than the process...." <>
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)c1945189 member nationsNA"FAO supports a science-based evaluation system that would objectively determine the benefits and risks of each individual GMO. This calls for a cautious case-by-case approach to address legitimate concerns for the biosafety of each product or process prior to its release." <>
Genetics Society of Americac1985approx5,000$3,123,807" will be necessary to consider products on a "case-by-case" basis. In some cases, a GMO may not be different in any significant way from a classically bred organism." <>
Institute of Food Technologistsa1939NA$15,934,326"There is some evidence of overall improved environmental safety due to wider use of rDNA biotechnology. That is not to say that all rDNA biotechnology-derived products will be safe—they must be examined on a case-by-case basis before being commercialized." <>
International Society of African Scientists (ISAS)c1982NANA"ISAS believes that agricultural biotechnology represents a major opportunity to enhance the production of food crops, cash crops, and other agricultural commodities in Africa, the Caribbean and other developing nations." <>
International Union of Forest Research Organizations a1892689 member organiza-tionsNA"The social discussion about risks vs. benefits of GMOs must move from a generic consideration of GMOs to the merits of modifying trees with specific traits to be used in specific environments and management regimes"32.
National Agricultural Biotechnology Council (NABC)a,c1988>30 research- educational institutions in North AmericaNAWhether or not a GEO requires bioconfinement "should be determined on a case-by-case basis...." <> "...genetically improved products should be evaluated for safety on a case-by-case basis, utilizing all of the available information, including experience, to guide the assessment." <>
National Research Councila1916approx6,000Annual budget: approx$176 million"...the product of genetic modification and selection should be the primary focus for making decisions about the environmental introduction of a plant... and not the process by which the products were obtained." <> "For purposes of decision support, the process of production should not enter into risk assessment." "The transgenic process present[s] no new categories of risk compared to conventional methods of crop improvement, but specific traits introduced by either of the approaches can pose unique risks." <> "Because both methods have the potential to produce organisms of high or low risk, the committee agrees that the properties of a genetically modified organism should be the focus of risk assessments, not the process by which it was produced." <>
Pontifical Academy of Sciencesc1603approx80 academiciansNA"There is nothing intrinsic about genetic modification that would cause food products to be unsafe. Nevertheless, science and scientists are and should further be – employed to test the new strains of plants to determine whether they are safe for people and the environment, especially considering that current advances can now induce more rapid changes than was the case in the past." <>
Society of American Forestersc (SAF)1900approx18,000$3,175,752"SAF supports the continued evolution of federal regulations that affect forest tree biotechnology, particularly changes to make the regulations more focused on the products' safety and environmental impact, rather than on the process or method used to create them." <>
Society of Toxicologya1961NA$5,232,371"...the potential adverse health effects arising from biotechnology-derived foods are not different in nature from those created by conventional breeding practices for plant, animal, or microbial enhancement." " is the food product itself, rather than the process through which it is made, that should be the focus of attention in assessing safety." <>
The World Health Organization (WHO)c1948approx191 member statesNA"GM foods currently available on the international market have undergone risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health any more than their conventional counterparts. The potential risks associated with GMOs and GM foods should be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the characteristics of the GMO or the GM food and possible differences of the receiving environments." <>