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Will GM animals follow the GM plant fate?


Despite being both Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), GM plants and GM animals share few similarities outside the laboratory premises. Whilst GM plants were soon embraced by industry and became a commercial success, only recently have GM animals reached the market. However, an area where GM animals are likely to follow the GM plant path is on their potential to cause social unrest. One of the major flaws of the 90s GMO crisis was the underestimation of the influence that different players can have in the adoption of new biotechnological applications. In this article we describe the unique evolution of GM animals in two of the most important fields: the pharmaceutical and the breeding sectors. For our analysis, we have subdivided the production chain into three governance domains: Science, Market and Public. We describe the influence and interaction of each of these domains as a vehicle for predicting the future adoptability of GM animals and to highlight conflicting areas.

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The authors would like to thank Dr Fillip Cnuddle for his comments on Fig. 1. This article draws on research conducted by the authors in the course of the PEGASUS programme. PEGASUS is an integrated project funded by the European Union in the Seventh Framework Programme (

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Correspondence to Núria Vàzquez-Salat.

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Vàzquez-Salat, N., Houdebine, L. Will GM animals follow the GM plant fate?. Transgenic Res 22, 5–13 (2013).

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  • Genetically modified animals
  • Transgenic
  • Governance
  • Policy
  • Public
  • Market