Pharmaceuticals & Industrials

This class of products includes human and veterinary drugs, biologics, research chemicals and enzymes.

Development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals requires extensive testing and assessment regardless of the source. While some pharmaceuticals derived from genetically engineered microbes have been produced for many years under containment (insulin is an example), there are currently no commercial pharmaceuticals produced from GE plants.

A few industrial products produced in GE plants have reached the market. These include a diagnostic reagent avidin (found in egg whites) and trypsin (an enzyme originates in the pancreas) which degrades proteins and is used mostly as a reagent. Both of these proteins are produced in GE corn. A full list of commercialized plant-made industrial product nad their uses are given in Table 2.

GE corn plants used for commercial production of reagents are grown under containment in secure greenhouses.

In the future, however, products of this type might be produced in open-field environments under confinement.