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Developing country universities beginning to develop GM crops

November 8th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

… It is interesting that large developing countries, like China, India, Brazil and Argentina, and others of less magnitude, like Bangladesh, Philippines and socialist Cuba, as well as 14 African countries, are investing heavily in the development of GM crops with public funds through public agencies or state-companies to solve …

Morocco launches action plan to fight devastating climate change

November 8th, 2016 / The Guardian, UK

Morocco is using the COP22 conference to formally launch its “Adaptation of African Agriculture” (AAA) initiative. As food security becomes increasingly challenged by erratic weather patterns, the initiative proposes measures such as improved soil management, water and irrigation management and better weather forecasting and insurance programmes for farmers affected by …

What the New York Times missed with its big GMO story

November 8th, 2016 / Grist, US

… GMOs really aren’t all associated with industrial farming. The disease-resistant papaya is a wonderful innovation. The insect-resistant eggplant seems to be reducing pesticide use in Bangladesh. This banana, this cassava, and this rice could all truly improve the lives of small farmers if those new crops make it over …

Cassava brown streak virus has a crazy fast evolutionary rate

November 7th, 2016 / Computational Biology for Sustainable Agriculture

Cassava is a major staple food for about 800 million people in the tropics and sub-tropical regions of the world. Production of cassava is significantly hampered by cassava brown streak disease (CBSD), which is caused by Cassava brown streak virus (CBSV) and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus (UCBSV). The disease …

More than 275 organizations and scientific institutions support the safety of GM crops

November 7th, 2016 /

Currently there is a social and political controversy about the safety of foods produced from genetically modified (GM) crops, however, in the scientific community there is no dispute or controversy regarding the safety of these crops. To date, more than 2000 scientific studies have assessed the safety of these crops …

Unsung Heroes – reversing neglect

November 7th, 2016 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

The third of our periodic blogs which discuss food security, with a specific focus on how plant genetic research might contribute to addressing the challenge of feeding a fast-growing global population in increasingly uncertain climatic conditions.
Achieving food security is a complex problem that goes far beyond just producing more food. …

Experts slam New York Times hack job on GMOs

November 4th, 2016 / Forbes Magazine, US

Experts are slamming the New York Times for its October 29th article on genetically engineered crops. Titled “Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops,” Danny Hakim’s piece argues that agricultural genetic engineering is a failure because GE crops haven’t reduced pesticide use and haven’t increased yields. The article’s …

New GMO could protect wheat and barley against deadly blight

November 4th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Fusarium graminearum, is a devastating disease of wheat and barley that leads to reduced yield and mycotoxin contamination of grain, making it unfit for human consumption. FHB is a global problem.
Here we report the map-based cloning of Fhb1 from a Chinese wheat cultivar …

COP22: a defining moment for Africa’s climate movement

November 4th, 2016 / AfricanBrains, Kenya

Prone to relentless weather changes and warming up significantly over the last decades, Africa has been exposed to droughts and floods that severely affect agricultural productivity, escalating water and food insecurity. By 2030, water stress-related conflicts will increase and spread across the region. As hunger continues to be a reality …

How we can make crops survive without water

November 3rd, 2016 / TED talk: Jill Farrant

As the world’s population grows and the effects of climate change come into sharper relief, we’ll have to feed more people using less arable land. Molecular biologist Jill Farrant studies a rare phenomenon that may help: “resurrection plants” — super-resilient plants that seemingly come back from the dead. Could they …