GM crops and plant protection

1 Overview of the development of transgenic plants abroad

1.1 Global planting area of ​​genetically modified crops continues to grow steadily

2006 was the 11th year after the transgenic crops entered commercial planting in 1996. According to statistics from the International Agricultural Biotechnology Application Center (ISAAA), the global planted area of ​​genetically modified plants continued to climb rapidly in 2006, an increase of 12 million hm2 on the basis of 90 million hm2 in 2005, with a growth rate of 13%, reaching 1. 02 billion hm2, which is 60 times the planting area in 1996. In the past 10 years, the cumulative planting area of ​​transgenic plants has reached 577 million hm2, which is more than 1/2 of the total land area of ​​the United States or China. In addition, at present, a total of 51 countries around the world have enacted relevant laws and regulations to allow experimental research and environmental release of genetically modified crops, or to allow the import of genetically modified crop products for food and feed processing. Of the 22 countries currently officially approved for planting genetically modified crops, 8 countries have planted areas exceeding 1 million ha. These developments have laid a broad and stable foundation for the future development of genetically modified crops.

1.2 Plant protection products continue to dominate

Since l996, plant protection products have been dominant in transgenic crops grown globally, in terms of traits, herbicide-resistant crops, insect-resistant crops and disease-resistant crops. In 2006, herbicide-resistant soybeans, corn, rape, and alfalfa accounted for 68% of the global planted area of ​​genetically modified crops, reaching 69.9 million hm2; insect-resistant crops were mainly corn and cotton, totaling 19 million hm2, accounting for 19%; Disease-resistant crops are mainly virus-resistant papaya and zucchini, and the planting area is currently less than 10 million hm2. The development trend worthy of attention is that the genetically modified crops with compound traits of insect resistance and herbicide resistance have the fastest growth, with a total area of ​​13.1 million ha, accounting for 13%. From 2005 to 2006, the growth rate of planting area of ​​transgenic plants with compound traits reached 30%, while the growth rates of single insect-resistant and herbicide-resistant crops were 17% and 10%, respectively. In addition, in order to improve insecticidal toxicity, expand insecticidal range and effectively delay the development of pest resistance, gene stacking (genestacking) transgenic products have begun to quickly replace monovalent gene products, becoming the focus of the development and application of new generation of insect-resistant crops. For example: insect-resistant cotton such as crylAc + cry2Ab, crylAc + crylF; insect-resistant corn such as crylAb + cry3Bbl, cry34Ab1 + cry35Ab1, etc.

1.3 Significant economic, social and environmental benefits

The industrialization of genetically modified crops has not developed for a long time, but it has created huge economic, social and environmental benefits. In 2006, the global GM crop seed market value reached 6.15 billion US dollars, accounting for 21% of the global crop seed market (30 billion US dollars); it is expected that the global GM crop market value will exceed 150 billion US dollars in 2010. The research and development and industrialization of genetically modified biological products have become one of the driving forces for the future growth of the global biological economy. According to another analysis, the large-scale promotion of genetically modified crops during 1996-2004 has greatly reduced the amount of pesticides used, and reduced the destructive impact of global pesticides on the environment by 15%. More importantly, at present 90% of the beneficiaries of planting genetically modified crops are tens of millions of poor farmers in developing countries, and their income has increased by $ 13 billion in 10 years. The unstoppable development trend of genetically modified crops actually reflects the urgent demand and firm confidence of the vast number of farmers for modern agricultural technology. For the application of genetically modified crops, although there are doubts or controversies surrounding biosecurity issues, the facts speak louder than words. Under the conditions of strict management, no evidence of real insecurity has been found for many years. On the contrary, its economic, social and environmental ecology The significant benefits and the rapid advancement of industrialized development have made it difficult for other agricultural technologies to surpass them, fully demonstrating the strong vitality of modern agricultural technologies.

2 Overview of domestic development of genetically modified crops

The research on genetically modified crops in China began in the 1980s and is one of the earliest countries in the application of agricultural biotechnology. With the strong support of the country, after more than 20 years of efforts, a relatively complete technical system from basic research, applied research to product development has been initially formed, and dozens of types with independent intellectual property rights and important application prospects have been discovered. New genes, a batch of new lines and varieties of genetically modified crops have been cultivated. The overall level of transgenic technology and crop breeding is already in a leading position in developing countries, and some projects have entered the international advanced ranks.

In recent years, China has made comprehensive progress in the safety management and evaluation of genetically modified organisms, and has achieved international integration. Since 1997, the Ministry of Agriculture has received a total of 1,525 biosafety evaluation applications from 192 R & D units. After review by the National Agricultural GMO Safety Committee, a total of 456 intermediate tests, 211 environmental releases, 181 productive tests and 424 safety certificates were approved. The crops involved include rice, cotton, corn, rape, potatoes, soybeans, wheat and more than 30 kinds, most of which are also plant protection products.

2.1 Insect-resistant cotton is a successful example of the development and application of transgenic plants in China

The research and development of genetically modified insect-resistant cotton with independent intellectual property rights is a successful example of China's development of modern agricultural science and technology and seizing the commanding heights of international biotechnology. According to the statistics of the Agricultural Technology Extension Center of the Ministry of Agriculture, since 1999, the market share of domestic insect-resistant cotton has been increasing at a rate of about 10% per year; in 2006, 64 genetically modified insect-resistant cotton varieties approved by the state or province were planted. The area is more than 3.5 million hm2, accounting for more than 70% of the total cotton planting area, and the insect-resistant cotton planting rate in Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Anhui and other major cotton-producing provinces is nearly 100%. In the past 9 years, the cumulative planting area of ​​insect-resistant cotton has exceeded 20 million hm2, creating huge economic, social and environmental ecological benefits. According to the survey statistics of the Agricultural Policy Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, after the application of insect-resistant cotton, China's cotton farmers have increased revenues and saved about 25 billion yuan, and the textile industry and consumers have earned 12 billion yuan. The sustainable development of cotton production in China has protected farmers' health and agricultural ecological security. At present, domestic insect-resistant cotton not only completely breaks the monopoly of multinational companies and has a dominant position in the domestic market, but also has been exported to India and has begun to participate in international market competition.

2.2 The commercial production scale of insect-resistant transgenic poplar is gradually expanded

The research on transgenic poplar trees in China started early, and many units have successfully developed insect-resistant transgenic poplar trees. Among them, the transgenic European black poplar and 741 poplar resistant to leaf-eating pests (Populidae, Gypsy moth, Poplar fan moth) have been approved by the State Forestry Administration for commercial planting in 2002. Insect-resistant transgenic European black poplar is currently the world's largest released area, and is the first commercialized transgenic forest tree species, the current cultivation area has reached 400hm2. Another five insect-resistant transgenic poplars (clones) have entered the field test stage. With the rapid development of China's poplar industry, the area of ​​poplar plantations will be further expanded, and the threat of pests will become more serious. Forest trees have a longer growth cycle than general field crops. Although poplar is a fast-growing tree species, the entire process of breeding requires 8 to 10 years from laboratory research to field planting applications, plus safety assessment. It is expected that new insect-resistant poplar varieties suitable for different ecological conditions can be continuously cultivated through genetic engineering, which will provide an important guarantee for the effective control of insect pests in poplar plantations in China.

2.3 Antiviral papaya has been approved for production and application

Tropical fruit papaya is vulnerable to ring spot virus (PRSV). By transferring viral replication enzymes or coat protein genes, the virus-resistant papaya can be obtained, which plays an effective role in ensuring production. This technology has completed production tests and biosafety evaluations. In 2006, it obtained a safety certificate issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, allowing planting, production, and sales. This is the first time in China to be allowed to grow genetically modified fruits, and it is also the first time in many years that new genetically modified plants have been approved for production and application under strict management.

2.4 Rice against diseases and insects is ready

For more than a decade, the research on genetically modified rice in China has developed rapidly, and it has reached the international advanced level as a whole, and some of the technologies have been at the forefront of the world. Combined with China's advantages in rice hybrid breeding, a number of new genetically modified rice lines with good resistance to diseases and insect pests, high-yield, high-quality special, drought-tolerant, salt-tolerant, storage-tolerant, low-phosphate-tolerant, and high herbicide-tolerant have been bred successively for industrial development Laid a solid technical foundation. In accordance with the requirements of the national GMO safety management, since 1999, a number of new rice lines resistant to disease (blight leaf blight) and insect-resistant (cargo borer, rice blight, rice leaf roller) are in Hubei and Fujian, Anhui and other provinces conducted intermediate tests, environmental releases, and productive tests. Its excellent insecticidal and anti-disease effects have been fully demonstrated. A large amount of data has been accumulated in the safety evaluation. The preparatory work for industrialization is basically ready. It is now waiting for the final evaluation and approval of the competent department. Once the transgenic rice is approved for production and application, it will become a transgenic crop with greater visibility and wider application prospects after insect-resistant cotton.

In addition to the above-mentioned products, combined with the discovery and application of a series of new resistance genes with independent intellectual property rights, Chinese scientists in insect-resistant (corn borer) corn, insect-resistant (beetle) potatoes, disease-resistant (Verticillium wilt), herbicide-resistant The research and development of transgenic plants such as cotton and insect-resistant (underground pest) lawn grass have also made gratifying progress. Now they have entered field plots or large-scale environmental release tests.

3 Actively promote the research and industrialization of genetically modified crops

3.1 Implement an active industrialization development policy

Despite major achievements in China ’s agricultural production, as a developing country with the world ’s largest population, the issues of food security and “agriculture, rural areas and farmers” will remain severe for a long time to come. For the research and application of agricultural transgenic technology, we must stand Grasp and make decisions at a strategic height. Industrialization is the inexhaustible power and ultimate goal of genetically modified organism breeding. It is hoped that the relevant departments will review the situation, weigh the pros and cons on the basis of comprehensive analysis of domestic and foreign political, economic, and scientific and technological factors, unify their understanding, and decisively propose an active development policy for the genetically modified crop industry that suits China's national conditions. While continuing to strengthen and improve the safety management of genetically modified organisms, it is advisable to make necessary adjustments to existing approval policies and standards, and take practical measures to unswervingly promote the industrialization of genetically modified crops. Although the overall level of R & D of genetically modified crops in China is somewhat different from that in developed countries, it has formed its own characteristics and advantages in certain technological frontiers and traditional breeding projects. The technology of genetically modified disease and insect resistant rice is mature and has huge benefits. So far, no safety problems have been found, and its impact on international trade is relatively small. It is undoubtedly the first choice for the industrialization of large-scale genetically modified grain and oil crops in China. It is recommended to use this as a breakthrough in the near future and focus on promoting the industrialization of genetically modified rice. In addition, we must attach great importance to corn that is a combination of feed and food crops. Considering that many multinational companies have launched genetically modified insect-resistant corn in an attempt to seize the Chinese market, it is imminent to speed up the research and development of genetically modified insect-resistant corn with China's independent intellectual property rights. For other genetically modified crops, the advantages and disadvantages should also be avoided, and overall consideration should be given to corresponding research and development and industrialization plans for different crops. Only in this way can the sustainable development of the agricultural biotechnology industry be guaranteed and promoted, and our country can take the initiative in the fierce international competition in biotechnology.

3.2 Strengthen basic research and improve independent innovation capability

The key to the breeding of genetically modified organisms is functional genes with independent intellectual property rights and potential applications. Therefore, we must attach great importance to the exploration and research of various types of biological gene resources in China, and vigorously strengthen basic research including functional genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and other emerging disciplines to reveal the relevant gene function, expression and regulatory characteristics and The law makes the transgenic technology continue to develop and improve in practice. Transgenic technology must be combined with conventional breeding, pest control and other application technologies in order to achieve the transformation of results as soon as possible and truly play a role in agricultural production. In addition, in order to ensure the healthy development of genetically modified technology and make it safer and more effective, we must still attach great importance to the risk assessment of genetically modified organisms. Even for genetically modified crops that are currently or near industrialization, we must adopt long-term and appropriate monitoring. Measures to maximize the prevention and reduction of its unintended negative effects or possible risks. Although the above research content has been arranged in the already launched 863, 973, Natural Science Foundation and other projects, it must be strengthened in subsequent projects. Recently, "cultivation of new varieties of genetically modified organisms" has been included in the national "Eleventh Five-Year" plan and mid-to-long-term (2006-2020) scientific and technological development plan, becoming One of the 16 major special projects with the same name shows that the country attaches great importance to and eagerly looks forward to the development of modern agricultural biotechnology. It is hoped that the relevant departments will expedite the argument, unify their understanding, and start and implement it as soon as possible.

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