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B4FA Week in Review – 6 January 2015

January 6th, 2015

Happy new year, and welcome back to the B4FA weekly newsletter! We hope you have had a restful and happy holiday.
We kick off 2015 with a handful of interesting stories from around the world. This week, the issue of banana wilt is taking center stage, with the FAO addressing the crisis in …

B4FA Week in Review – 23 December 2014

December 23rd, 2014

Welcome to the Christmas edition of the B4FA weekly newsletter! We’ve got plenty of interesting features this week, including a piece on agroecology – a science that considers what agricultural systems work best to ensure healthy relationships within ecosystems. The author, journalist Rebecca Randall, argues that science and sustainability, not ideology, should prevail – including the possible use of GMOs. We …

B4FA Week in Review – 16 December 2014

December 16th, 2014

Just a few days ago, the University of Arkansas released the first free, replantable version of GM soy, named UA 5414RR. Farmers may plant this seed without paying a technology licensing fee, and may save seeds from harvest for future planting. An article by Ramez Naam, author of The Infinite Resource: The …

B4FA Week in Review – 9 December 2014

December 9th, 2014

It’s been a week of debate in the world of GM food. On Wednesday, 3 December, Intelligence Squared hosted a livestreamed debate – asking whether we should be growing genetically modified foods. Robert Fraley from Monsanto and Alison Van Eenennaam of UC Davis argued the positive, and Margaret Mellon, formerly of …

B4FA Week in Review – 2 December 2014

December 2nd, 2014

There’s a bumper crop of biotech-related stories from around the world this week! Researchers in Japan have made a breakthrough in their effort to engineer potatoes that do not produce the toxic compounds solanine and chaconine. In Mauritius, an experimental wheat cultivation project enters a new phase, while in Kenya, lawmakers are calling …

B4FA Week in Review – 25 November 2014

November 25th, 2014

This week, ministers and officials from all over the world convened in Rome at the Second Annual Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), organized by the FAO and WHO. The resulting Declaration on Nutrition and Framework for Action promises to combat malnutrition through policy and action – including the development of more sustainable food systems and nutrition-enhancing …

B4FA Week in Review – 18 November 2014

November 18th, 2014

This week, rice geneticist Pam Ronald — who developed flood-tolerant rice (and who is also married to an organic farmer) — says it’s time to stop demonizing GMO technology and instead figure out how appropriate use might enhance agricultural sustainability. In the United States, the USDA has approved a genetically modified potato – engineered …

B4FA Week in Review – 11 November 2014

November 11th, 2014

In this week’s world bioscience news, a meta-study published this week in PLOS ONE processed data from 147 studies and found that the average agronomic and economic benefits of GM crops are large and significant. Stories from both the Economist and Genetic Literacy Project this week take a look at …

B4FA Week in Review – 4 November 2014

November 4th, 2014

There’s a lot going on in Nigeria this week! B4FA Fellow Magdalene Ukuedojor sends in two reports from the recent National Agricultural Show held there, including a piece on women farmers advocating for grants, capacity-building programmes, and infrastructural support. Meanwhile, Jimoh Babatunde reports on the ongoing debate around biosafety law from the National Assembly. …

B4FA Week in Review – 28 October 2014

October 28th, 2014

In global bioscience news, Indian plant breeder Sanjaya Rajaram has won the World Food Prize in honour of his contribution to protecting global food supply, in particular breeding hundreds of varieties of nutritious and climate-adapted wheat. B4FA Fellow Charles Benoni Okine also submits a piece on the subject. Other articles of particular interest this week include a new online …