Genetically engineered animals, algae and microorganisms are developed increasingly for field-level applications. But, contrary to genetically engineered field crops, potential benefits as well as risks are scarcely discussed in public fora.
The range of promising applications is long: from genetically engineered (GE) polled cattle to high-yield GE fish, from GE algae for biofuel production to GE microorganisms in bio-fertilizer. New genetic engineering techniques look promising when it comes to cheap, fast and precise remedies for challenges within agriculture, environmental protection and climate action.
However, the hopes connected to these new technological applications are also accompanied by concerns. Far-reaching promises warrant matter-of-fact reality checks; plans for release and marketing warrant robust assessments of beneficial as well as detrimental side effects.
This project aims at researching and summarising the state of discussion within TA relating to the husbandry and release, marketing and consumption of genetically engineered animals, algae and microorganisms for agricultural as well as ecological purposes. We collect topical reports from European TA institutions and analyse them systematically with regard to addressed organisms and gene technologies, applied TA approaches, gathered results and formulated recommendations.
This project is conducted for the Environmental Agency Austria (Umweltbundesamt, Österreich) on behalf of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, Deutschland).