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Dr. Alison Power, "Genetically Engineered Crops and the Environment"

Date: 02/09/06
Time: 4-5:30 with 3:30 reception
Audience: Public
Sponsored By: School of Science and Engineering
Location: Coykendall Science Building Auditorium
Contact: David Clark, x3524, clarkd@newpaltz.edu

Crops with transgenic (genetically engineered) resistance to herbicides, insects, or diseases have been widely planted in the United States over the last decade. Transgenic plants with enhanced tolerance to abiotic stresses such as salinity, drought, or freezing, to biotic stresses such as pathogens, and to anthropogenic stresses such as heavy metal contamination are also under development. Ecological risks of existing transgenic crops include increased weediness and invasiveness, fitness effects of gene flow to wild relatives, effects on non-target organisms, the evolution of pest resistance, and negative effects on agricultural practices. Examples of these potential risks and recommendations for evaluating such risks will be presented by Dr. Power, a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Science and Technology Studies.