Iwona Kosieradzka, Vitali Vasko, Grzegorz Bartoszewski, Maria Szwacka, Katarzyna Fiszdon and Magdalena Matusiewicz
Genetically-modified (GM) tomatoes, carrying thaumatin gene encoding sweet-tasting protein may be a component of diet with high sensory values, constituting a valuable source of nutrients and substances with a health-promoting role. Good utilization and a lack of the effect on animal growth, value of hematological parameters, concentration of immunoglobulins and most of chemical blood parameters of laboratory rats were demonstrated in the nutritional studies on fruits of tomato GM plants. The biological response of the rats receiving GMO or its isogenic equivalent in the diet was recognized as similar. However, the unfavourable effect of the diets containing addition of tomatoes with the recombined thaumatin on the degree of oxidative degradation of DNA of rats liver was recorded. At the same time, the discussed dietary component had no effect on values of the remaining parameters of the oxidative status of tissue of the above mentioned organ and its histological image
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This paper assesses the potential of transgenic trees to generate substantial financial returns in an environmental where there are substantial investment costs in research and development, deregulation and deployment. The formidable obstacles and in addition to the usual research and development costs, include the costs of obtaining requisite intellectual property rights. Also, there are substantial costs to achieve deregulation, and some evidence of deregulatory slowdown in the U.S., and cost of product deployment. The product deployment costs are likely to be higher than for other products, e.g., traditionally improved seedlings, due to substantial and widespread opposition (stigma) to GE in general and transgenic trees particular. As with all trees, the payoff time (harvest) is delayed longer than most other investments and the financial returns adversely affected by the delay. Additionally, the financial costs and benefits may vary substantially by country and region. Some evidence suggests that deregulation costs may vary substantially by country. Additionally, the perceived “stigma” costs are likely to vary greatly among regions thereby providing better opportunities in some markets than others. If deployment depends upon the financial and economic returns, one might expect widespread adoption among some countries, e.g., China and Brazil, where the net benefits are large, and little or no adoption among countries where the net benefits are small, e.g., countries of the EU. However, at this time the final success of GE trees remains to be witnessed. Although some firms have withdrawn entirely from the area of tree GE research, other firms continue to invest substantial sums in tree GE development presumably anticipating eventual payoffs. It remains to be determined whether the technology ultimately is broadly accepted, accepted only regionally or fails globally.
Rafal Baranski, Magdalena Klimek-Chodacka and Aneta Lukasiewicz
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