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Agricultural Biotechnology Sites on the Internet

Crop and Soil Environmental News, September 1996

Charles Hagedorn,
Extension Biotechnology Specialist

The proliferation of sites on the World Wide Web has also impacted biotechnology. Currently, the Web includes over 60 million sites and is growing by approximately 2 million sites per month. An internet search for biotechnology will produce a list of over 2,500 sites, although the majority of these are devoted to medical topics. For an emphasis on agricultural and environmental biotechnology, I have found several excellent websites that provide a useful and relevant combination of both content and presentation. Following is a brief description and web address of each.

The biotechnology home page from Iowa State University ( is a comprehensive website that contains information on virtually any agricultural biotechnology topic. This site emphasizes agricultural biotechnology and has a strong extension supported focus.

The Biotechnology Information Center (BIC) home page from USDA's National Agricultural Library (http://www.inform.umd/EdRes/Topic/AgrEnv/Biotech) contains a diverse and large quantity of biotechnology information, including information on APHIS approvals of field tests of genetically engineered plants. This site is probably the most complete internet biotech resource available.

The Access Excellence home page ( consists of a nationwide educational program directed towards high school science teachers and is sponsored by the biotechnology company Genentech, Inc. Many useful (and free) biotechnology graphics are available here for downloading.

The Global Agricultural Biotechnology home page site ( includes a "GABA Online" section that does an excellent job of compiling virtually all agbiotech resources currently available on the Internet.

The National Biological Impact Assessment Program (NBIAP) home page (, located at Virginia Tech, includes a free monthly newsletter and information on numerous biotechnology projects dealing with agriculture and environmental issues. This site also covers the USDA permit system for engineered plants and publishes special editions on hot topics, such as Bt-crops.

The Biotechnology Law web site (, maintained by Foley and Lardner, a general practice law firm in Washington, D.C., includes a patent primer and documentation on biotechnology patent and legal issues, as well as reviews of case law that impact the biotechnology community.

CATO Research Ltd., ( maintains a biotechnology resources home page that is primarily directed towards the biomedical area, but includes newsbytes and education on all topics related to biotechnology. Under their "General" section is an extensive list of websites that bear even the slightest relationship to biotechnology.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) home page ( contains a large amount of information on regulation and approvals of field releases of genetically engineered microorganisms. Virtually any type of information on development, applications, and testing of engineered organisms is available here.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) home page ( includes information of interest to the biotechnology industry at large, and specifically BIO members. Membership is required to obtain access to much of the posted material. An index is available that contains links to companies that are BIO members and have their own home pages available.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Center for Biotechnology Information Genebank ( is oriented towards medical applications and the human genome project. Many of the issues that will arise as a result of sequencing the human genome will have a direct impact on future regulations devoted to agricultural applications.

The University of Indiana biotechnology home page ( is an interactive resource and reference site that includes material on educational guides, science resources, and biotechnology applications.

The Public Perceptions of Biotechnology home page ( provides information on communication of biotechnology and the impact of biotechnology on society. Questions developed from the public's viewpoint concerning the development and use of biotechnology applications can be found here.

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