Last year, approximately 45 million acres of American farmland were planted with crops that had been genetically engineered to either produce their own pesticides, or withstand herbicides. The long and short-term effects of this biotechnology on humans and the environment, are being studied, but remain unknown. Leading the way in the field of bioengineered crops is the Missouri-based Monsanto Company. Monsanto believes that current agricultural practices are inconsistent with sustainable development. The NewLeaf potato is one of three products Monsanto has created to feed the growing world population. The genetically engineered crop produces, in every cell of the plant, a pesticide that kills its most common predators. This paper offers a case study of the development, regulation, and commercialisation of Monsanto's bioengineered potato. It is an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on the economic, environmental, and the ethical facets of how the product was created, and how it has been brought to market. The paper will bring to light the inherent benefits, risks, and the standards of value used in assessing this contemporary implementation of biotechnology.
Lyons, B., Ralabate, T., Frangul, N. (1999). A case study of bioengineering in America: profits, risks and standards of value in the commercialization of Monsanto Company's newleaf potato. Interdisciplinary Environmental Review Proceedings 1(2): 129- doi: 10.1504/IER.1999.053848