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Problem formulation for off-target effects of externally applied double-stranded RNA-based products for pest control

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Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in plant science
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2020


Externally applied dsRNA-based biocontrol products may lead to off-target degradation of messenger RNA in target and non-target organisms. For the purposes of regulatory risk assessment of such products, producing a comprehensive catalog of any off-target effects using profiling methods is unnecessary and would be ineffective in supporting decision-making. Instead, problem formulation should derive criteria that indicate acceptable risk and devise a plan to test the hypothesis that the product meets those criteria. The key to effective risk assessment of dsRNA-based biocontrols is determining whether their properties indicate acceptable or unacceptable risk, not whether they arise from on- or off-target effects of dsRNA.

    Research areas

  • hypothesis testing, problem formulation, acceptable risk, decision-making, targeted risk assessment

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