The scope of the study and structure of this report are outlined in the executive summary (section ES.1). Transgenic pest-protected plants7 are the focus of the committee's discussion of the regulatory framework, inasmuch as the framework is designed for transgenic plants (OSTP 1986). Conventional pest-protected plants are discussed for scientific comparisons. Given impending decisions with respect to the EPA plant-pesticide rule, the committee focused on the EPA's proposed rule, but also addressed the roles of the EPA, USDA, and FDA under the coordinated framework.

The committee hopes that this report will provide guidance for reviewing the thousand or more transgenic pest-protected plants that are being tested in the field as well as those yet to be developed. Although transgenic Bt crops have received the most attention given their commercial use, the committee proposes to look towards the future by discussing general issues concerning transgenic pest-protected plants for which there may be fewer data and that could have an impact in coming years. It is not possible for the current committee to comment on other classes of transgenic crops (such as herbicide-tolerant crops) given the breadth of the issues and the time frame; however, some of the conclusions in this report regarding transgenic pest-protected plants might be applicable to other transgenic crops and are indicated as such. Terms that frequently appear in the report are defined in the executive summary (ES.3), a list of acronyms can be found in appendix D, and common and scientific names for the various organisms listed in the text appear in appendix E.


Note that the committee focused on potential impacts of food and fiber crops, not on the potential impacts of other types of transgenic pest-protected plants that might be commercialized in the future (for example, forest trees).

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