Discussions of the environmental risks and benefits of adopting genetically engineered organisms are highly polarized between pro- and anti-biotechnology groups, but the current state of our knowledge is frequently overlooked in this debate. A review of existing scientific literature reveals that key experiments on both the environmental risks and benefits are lacking. The complexity of ecological systems presents considerable challenges for experiments to assess the risks and benefits and inevitable uncertainties of genetically engineered plants. Collectively, existing studies emphasize that these can vary spatially, temporally, and according to the trait and cultivar modified.
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