Genes and Chemicals in Agriculture: Value and Risk (BIO 435-435H/535, FS 435-435H/535)
Lecture Readings

Required Text:
Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food
by Pamela C. Ronald and Raoul W. Adamchak
Oxford University Press; ISBN: 978-0-19-530175-5
To order - Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food

Required readings
The main readings given below are required readings for quizzes, the mid-term, and the final. For quizzes, you are responsible for the readings assigned up to and including the day of the quiz. Emphasis in quizzes and exams will be on familiarity with concepts, and example crops and issues, not technical details of genes, acres, etc. Look at old exams to get a better idea of the level of information needed. When it says "peruse only" you are responsible only for knowing what the document was about, which you can get from scanning the summary, section headings, figures, and tables. You do not need to read the text, but you will need to have scanned the article for 2-3 minutes to get the main points of what it's about.

Week Date Topic Readings Text
1 Mar 29 Class organization, rationale, goals. GMO and TOX issues

Tester Tomorrow's Table Book Rev Science 2008

ISAA biotech update 2010

Lemaux - Science record on GMO crop issues Lemaux 2008 p. 773-778

Forward, intro
Mar 29
REC: Review of basic DNA/genomics/methods

Learn these terms/concepts from web/basic texts.

Ch. 4
Mar 31 Plant genetic engineering methods

Agricultural Biotechnology: The GMO Debate

Opposition to transgenic technologies: ideology, interests and collective action frames 2008

Ch. 6
2 Apr 5 History of domestication and breeding; green revolution

Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication Diamond 2002

Green Revolution: Curse or Blessing? IFPRI 2002

Ch. 1
Apr 5
REC: Anti- and pro-GMO views: What and why

Sierra Club Genetic Engineering Report 2001

Miller - Frankenfish Fatuity

Apr 7 Intellectual property in crop breeding and biotechnology

Farmer to farmer campaign on genetic engineering p. 1-17

Acceptable intellectual property - Hilgartner

Schmeiser and Monsanto Science 2004

Patents, seed saving, and legal actions against farmers - Jones, p. 5-7

3 Apr 12 Breeding and genomics concepts, application to animals

Animal Breeding Review Cal Ag Biotech 2006

Video overview of animal biotechnology (Downloadable, to be shown in class)

Apr 12
REC: Risk perception

Finucane - Perceived risk of GM food

Apr 14 Animal biotechnology, cloning, rBST for milk production

Summary of risk assessment of GE salmon 2010

Animal biotech overview Nat Biotech 2005

Peruse only:

Dolly Cloning Overview Nat Biotech 2007

Weasel - Food Fray

4 Apr 19 GMO crops and sustainability

GE crops and sustainability

Peruse Only:

Miller Sustain Ag 2008

Ch. 2, 3, and 8
Apr 19
REC: Biomonitoring of environmental chemicals

Paustenbach_biomonitor Env Health Perspect 2006

Apr 21 Gene flow and adventitious presence

Review of glyphosate resistant crops p. 1-5

Glyp resist weed Science 2007


Peruse only:


Mallory-Smith et al 2008

Ch. 9
5 Apr 26 Toxicology Basics

Pollution gets personal - Science, 2004

Apr 26
REC: Ethics

CAST Ag Ethics 2005

Peruse only:

Switzerland and plant rights Wall St. Journal 2008

New Nuffield Ethics report summary, pp. xxiii-xx - GMOs for the developing world

Apr 28 Natural toxins in food and environment

Biodiversity: Its Importance to Human Health

Paracelsus to parascience: the environmental cancer distraction

6 May 3 MIDTERM - in class (includes entire text book)    
May 3
REC: Organic agriculture: How, what and why

Organic Food Review 2006

Natl organic action p. 1-13

Paarlberg Ethics Ag 2009

Peruse only:

Organic food nutrition rev Am J Clin Nutr 2009

Organic food and farming Q and A

Purdue Coop Extension Pesticide Benefits 2006

May 5 Risk assessment of chemicals

Environmental & Disease Risks

The Vanishing Zero

7 May 10 Regulating GMOs, chemicals and pesticides

REACH and TSCA Science 2009

Understanding the Role of Science in Regulation

McHughen Regulation GM Crops 2006

Peruse only:

APHIS restructures Jones ISB Nov09

Ch. 5 and 7
May 10
REC: Videos!: Youtube or other / GMOs and chemical technology is the solution to your problem

Science record on GMO crop issues Lemaux 2008 p. 779-797

May 12 Forest Biotechnology

El-Lakany 2004 GM trees a threat? Unasylva 2004

Harry & Strauss 2010 Biotech and GE in forest trees

Peruse only:

Strauss et al - Strangled at Birth - CBD and Tree Biotech - Nature Biotechnol 2009

GM Trees the Ultimate Threat ISIS 2005

8 May 17 Developmental toxicology    
May 17
REC: Videos!: Youtube or other / GMOs and chemicals are the reason for your problem

Lemaux part II Env Sci record GM crops 2009

May 19 Bt corn and the StarLink saga

Starlink corn: a risk analysis

Bt crops and mycotoxin reduction ISB 2008

Peruse only:

Are bt crops safe? 2003

9 May 24 Bioreactor crops

Is the drought over for pharming? Science 2008

On risk & plant-based biopharmaceuticals Trends Biotech 2004

May 24
REC: Biofortification / Golden rice and humanitarian/developing world issues


Dueling Visions at IAASTD - Science 2008

Why is India shunning safer food 2010

Miller Activism in time of cholera 2008

May 26 Nanotechnology and toxicology

Recommendations for Nanotechnology-Based Pesticides

10 May 31 Discussion panel 1: BPA ban/perchlorate regulation

The Toxic Origins of Disease 2007

The problem with plastics 2009

Perchlorate decision flawed

Rocket (fuel) man_MotherJones

Ch. 12
May 31
REC: Q and A and review session for final exam / student questions
June 2 Discussion panel 2: Ban or label? GE salmon/Amylase corn

Labeling genetically modified foods: Communicating or creating confusion?

Cloned animal labeling Nature Biotech 2008


Summary of risk assessment of GE salmon 2010

U.S. Approves Corn Modified for Ethanol NY Times 2011

Peruse only:

Flies in the soup labeling Nat Biotech 2004

11 June 8 (noon,
Pvy 108)