Oregon State University

transgenic agriculture

any farming system that employs genetically engineered crop varieties. Over the past few thousand years, virtually all crops have been genetically modified, but since 1995 it has been possible to change some crops more specifically using genetic engineering. Farmers choose to grow transgenic crops when they offer significant advantages over parental varieties. Some GE crops are tolerant to specific herbicides (e.g. roundup ready sugar beets), often reducing tillage requirements and total herbicide application levels. Some are resistant to viral diseases (e.g. ringspot-resistant papaya). Some are resistant to certain insect pests because of specific protein toxins they express (e.g. Bt cotton), increasing yields and reducing broad-spectrum pesticide use. And some are biofortified to increase their nutritional value (e.g. golden rice). See also genetic modification, genetic engineering, GMO.

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