nology, Food and Fiber Production, and the Environment. This standing committee will identify emerging issues and provide intellectual oversight for subcommittees focusing on particular issues in agricultural biotechnology. Through this mechanism, the NRC expects to publish a series of more detailed, comprehensive reports concerning agricultural biotechnology and looks forward to the opportunity to play a larger role in analyzing and reporting upon the scientific issues.


ES.3.1 EPA Terminology

The committee recognizes that the term plant-pesticide, used by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to describe the scope of products subject to regulation under its 1994 proposed rule, is controversial. To some extent, the controversy stems from the mistaken impression that EPA will classify plants as pesticides. EPA has consistently stated that the “pesticide” will be defined as the “pesticidal substance that is produced in a living plant and the genetic material necessary for the production of the substance, where the substance is intended for use in the living plant.” At least in partial response to the controversy, the agency has recently sought public comment on possible alternatives to the term plant-pesticide. The committee agrees that the agency must be sensitive to this issue, but it takes no position on the most appropriate term used for regulatory purposes. Therefore, pesticidal substances, pest protectants, pest resistance genes, and other variations are used throughout this report.

ES.3.2 Genetically Modified Plants

Plant breeders use a variety of genetic techniques to enhance the ability of plants to protect themselves from plant pests. Regardless of the technique used, the committee considers these plants to be genetically modified. Although the committee recognizes that there is no strict dichotomy between the products of conventional and transgenic technologies (see ES.4), in this report it has used the following terms:

pest-protected plant or genetically modified pest-protected (GMPP) plant: refers to any plant that has been genetically modified to express a pesticidal trait 3, regardless of the technique used 4;


The committee's definition includes both structural and chemical traits that deter or resist pests.


The committee's definition of pest-protected plants does not include herbicide-tolerant plants.

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