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Table 1 Some potential benefits and issues of concern regarding the use of GM crops (Sources; References [4, 6, 10])

From: Tanzanian farmers' knowledge and attitudes to GM biotechnology and the potential use of GM crops to provide improved levels of food security. A Qualitative Study

Potential Benefits Potential Issues of Concern
Improved resistance to pests, disease and herbicides; for instance, destruction by common agricultural pests and diseases, such as nematodes, insects, fungal, bacterial viruses, or parasitic weeds. Potential human health impacts; for instance, allergens, transfer of antibiotic resistance, and unknown effects
Improved yields, taste, quality or nutritional value; for instance biofortification with essential vitamins (eg A, C or K) or minerals (eg folic acid or beta carotene). Potential environmental impacts; for instance, unknown effects on other organisms, unintended transfer of transgenes through cross-pollination and the loss of flora and fauna biodiversity
Improved tolerance to environmental stresses including prolonged drought, high salinity, increased rainfall or increased temperatures. Potential loss of access and intellectual property; for instance, the foreign exploitation of natural resources, the dependence of a developing country on a developed country, or the dominance of world food production by one or a few multinational companies
Improved tolerance of reduced growing seasons so that crops need a shorter growing season while providing the same level of production. Ethical issues, such as tampering with nature by mixing genes between species, objections to consuming animal genes in plants and vice versa, or violating natual organisms' intrinsic values
  labelling issues; mixing non-GM with GM crops may compromise seed or food