Concluding Remarks and Recommendations
Traditional plant breeding and the ongoing process of improvement of agricultural practices have allowed enormous progress in recent decades in the control of plant pathogens. Nonetheless, although this may not be apparent to the general public in North America and Europe, viral diseases cause serious crop losses, not only in tropical areas, but also in temperate regions. For instance, in Asia and Africa viral diseases have considerable impact on rice productivity, and the spread of virulent strains of plum pox potyvirus in Europe will seriously compromise production of plums and apricots if resistance genes are not developed. It is thus quite appropriate that any new means for creating virus resistance genes should be thoroughly explored for potential deployment. Considering the novelty of transgenic virus-resistant plants, it is also reasonable that the principle of precaution be applied, and that potential risks be evaluated, so that the decision to deploy on a large scale can be firmly based on an overall risk/benefit analysis.
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