The Changing World of Industry

The major chemical and agrochemical industries now agree that they should give absolute priority to nonpolluting production processes and to the development of less polluting agrochemicals. Trying to evolve into a more sustainable industry, these industries give priority to biotechnological approaches and have declared themselves "life sciences" companies. All show great interest in plant biotechnology and in the possibility to make new products through plants. Also the science management organizations of the United States, such as the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation, watch this new trend closely. These agencies just gave six grants of $500,000 US to major American companies, as well as start-up companies, for prospecting biodiversity worldwide for new active compounds and natural products.

How will these multinational concerns make the transition into life science companies and achieve the necessary know-how? Monsanto and Dupont prepared for this change long since and built up in house research capacities. Other companies acquired biotechnology start-up companies to gain access to technology and bought up seed companies to allow the production of novel plants.

However, the first wave of transgenic plants focused on improved biotic stress resistance, high yielding crops and engineering that allows the use of less polluting agriculture through the possibility of using new environmentally acceptable herbicides. At present, 20 million hectares of transgenic plants are already cultivated in the United States. All predictions are that in the next years this will substantially increase so that half of the large scale agriculture will be using transgenic plants.

Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

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