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Week in Review

B4FA Week in Review – 19 July 2017

July 19th, 2017 / B4FA.org

A week ago, the United Nations celebrated its annual World Population Day, which seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, including the issue of food security and sustainability. For the occasion, IFPRI posted a brief report based on featuring an analysis generated by its International Model for Policy Analysis …

B4FA Week in Review – 12 July 2017

July 12th, 2017 / B4FA.org

Lots of interesting biotech news from around the world this week. A genetically modified banana fortified with Vitamin A has been developed in Queensland, Australia, and is to be grown in Uganda, in the hopes of improving the health of East African children. The highland or East African cooking banana variety, …

B4FA Week in Review – 5 July 2017

July 5th, 2017 / B4FA.org

More positive responses are rolling in for the documentary Food Evolution, which opened in United States cinemas in late June. The film is trying to encourage fact-based public discourse around GM, while discouraging polarized debate and dispelling fear. (See “Documentary ‘Food Evolution’ turns to reason to discuss GMO controversy”, LA Times.) Food …

B4FA Week in Review – 28 June 2017

June 28th, 2017 / B4FA.org

Congratulations to African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, who has just won the prestigious World Food Prize in honour of his work to improve crop yields and incomes for farmers in Africa. Adesina grew up poor, the son of a Nigerian farm worker. He then earned graduate degrees in agricultural …

B4FA Week in Review – 21 June 2017

June 21st, 2017 / B4FA.org

In a development that should add interest to discussions about seed patents, plant breeders in Germany have developed open-source plant seeds, according to Science magazine. “The idea behind the open-source license is that scientists and breeders can experiment with seeds –and improve them – unimpeded by legal restrictions,” states the article. The …

B4FA Week in Review – 14 June 2017

June 14th, 2017 / B4FA.org

A new peer-review report recently published by PG Economics shows that over the last 20 years, crop biotechnology has significantly reduced agriculture’s environmental impact and stimulated economic growth. The report, GM Crops: Global Socio-economic and Environmental impacts 1996-2015, is authored by Graham Brookes and Peter Barfoot. Among the benefits they …

B4FA Week in Review – 7 June 2017

June 7th, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, news was dominated by US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. The Conversation published an overview (“How bad could Trump’s Paris Agreement withdrawal be?”) by climate scientist and climate policy scholar Robert Koop, who puts the situation in perspective with best- to worst-case scenarios from …

B4FA Week in Review – 31 May 2017

May 31st, 2017 / B4FA.org

Earlier this week, Wired magazine published a piece detailing CRISPR inventor Jennifer Doudna’s thoughts on the pros and cons of the gene-editing tool (“CRISPR creator Jennifer Doudna on the promises—and pitfalls—of easy genetic modification”). Among the dangers she lists are perfecting traits in our children and creating hybrid animals as pets – …

B4FA Week in Review – 24 March 2017

May 24th, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the Norwegian Arctic – meant to be an impenetrable, permanent vault to protect the world’s crop biodiversity – was flooded after extraordinarily high temperatures melted surrounding permafrost. Fortunately, the flood did not damage any of the stored seeds, which are meant to serve as …

B4FA Week in Review – 17 May 2017

May 17th, 2017 / B4FA.org

There are many interesting developments in crop biotech this week. Among them, researchers at the University of Arizona are reported to be closing in on a way of using genetic modification to shut down the production of aflatoxin in maize. Using RNAi technology, which inhibits gene expression, says a summary …