A Growing Concern: Protecting the Food Supply in an Era of Pharmaceutical and Industrial Crops (2004)

Protecting the Food Supply in an Era of Pharmaceutical and Industrial Crops
June 2005
Action is needed to ensure that "pharma crops" will not contaminate the food supply.

 A Growing Concern addresses the challenge of protecting the U.S. food supply from contamination by crops genetically engineered to produce drugs and industrial substances ("pharma" crops). Six experts commissioned by UCS to analyze this problem concluded that corn and soybean cannot be used as pharma crops while preventing contamination of the food supply—unless substantial changes are made to the commodity production and management practices applied to pharma crops.

Because changes on this scale have yet to be implemented, UCS has concluded that contamination of the food system by pharma crops may have already occurred and may become more likely in the future. We therefore recommend that the U.S. Department of Agriculture halt the outdoor production of genetically engineered pharmaceutical and industrial crops immediately, until a new system for producing drugs and industrial substances without endangering the food system can be put in place.