Important legal notice
Agriculture and life sciences in the economy
Plant molecular farming: opportunities and challenges

The primary goal of this study is to identify opportunities and challenges for, as well as strengths and weaknesses of the EU in the area of plant molecular farming.

The production of pharmaceuticals, functional proteins and industrial enzymes in plants is known as plant molecular farming (PMF). The terms molecular farming, bio-farming, pharming and, in some academic sources, "phyto-manufacturing", are used inter-changeably. Plant molecular farming involves growing and harvesting genetically modified crops for the production of biological pharmaceuticals or industrial materials, rather than for food or feed production. Over the last decade, plants have emerged as convenient and economically alternative expression systems and plant molecular farming is expected by some to challenge established production technologies that currently use bacteria, yeast or cultured mammalian cells. As research in plant molecular farming becomes more wide-spread, commercial success will depend on the efficiency of the technology, the safety of the products, economic considerations, the regulatory environment, intellectual property regimes and the overcoming of related social and policy challenges.

Technical Report on "Plant molecular farming: opportunities and challenges"
(EUR 23383 EN)


PlantPharma FP6 Project





Emilio Rodriguez-Cerezo, Alexander J. Stein

EUROPEAN COMMISSION - DIRECTORATE GENERAL - Joint Research Centre IPTS Joint Research Centre