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Biotechnology outreach by Dr. Pat Byrne

Since the late 1990’s, Dr. Byrne has been engaged in public outreach in plant biotechnology, especially regarding genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified (GM) crops. His goals are to provide factual information about genetic engineering, its applications, and its regulation in the U.S., and to discuss both the benefits and risks of the technology in crop plants.



Dr. Byrne has given a large number of invited talks on GE crops to government agencies (e.g., National Park Service headquarters staff; EPA Region 8 staff; U.S. Embassy, New Zealand), civic groups (League of Women Voters, Fort Collins and Greeley; Yampa Valley Sustainability Council; Larimer County Master Gardeners; Denver Garden Club), educational institutions (Denver Botanic Gardens; Denver Museum of Science & Nature; CU-Boulder; CU-Denver; Front Range Community College; K-12 students and teachers); professional societies (Crop Science Society of America; Colorado Farm Bureau; National Onion Association); and miscellaneous venues (Governor’s Agricultural Forum; CSU Alumni Association webinar; BizWest Ag & Food Summit).

Here is an example of one of his presentations on GE crops: Byrne Colorado Science Fair 4-8-16.pdf


Fact Sheets

Dr. Byrne is the author or co-author of three CSU Extension Fact Sheets on various aspects of GE crops:

Genetically Modified (GM) Crops: Techniques and Applications. CSU Extension Fact Sheet, no. 0.710.

Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods. CSU Extension Fact Sheet.

Bio-pharming. Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet no. 0.307.


Public service

  • As a member of the Boulder County (CO) GMO Technical Advisory Committee (2001-2003), Dr. Byrne helped develop regulations for coexistence between GE and non-GE corn fields on Boulder County Open Space land. This involved a 5-year project to estimate gene flow between adjacent corn fields, the results of which were incorporated into the county’s GM crop management plan.


  • He also served a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for bio-pharmaceutical crops of Colorado Department of Agriculture, 2004-2006. The committee reviewed applications and made recommendations for growing bio-pharmaceutical crops in Colorado.
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