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How we got to now: Why the US and Europe went different ways on GMOs

November 9th, 2015 / The conversation, UK

There is a myth that circulates: Americans accepted genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their food supply without question, while the more precautionary Europeans rejected them. But GMOs went through a period of significant controversy in the US during the early years starting in the 1980s. A boomerang effect is only …

Vitamin enhanced GMO crops … maybe cassava

November 6th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Bangladesh announced last month that it was moving ahead with field trials of Golden Rice, which in itself represents a big step forward in fighting vitamin-A deficiency, a condition that kills hundreds of thousands globally each year. But perhaps the biggest impact of that decision is that it paves the …

Nigeria: A solution that puts smallholders’ food, nutrition and income in a bag

November 6th, 2015 / IPS, Italy

Sometimes the best solutions can appear to be so simple that it’s hard to imagine why they weren’t invented centuries ago. Take the so-called PICS bags, big plastic storage sacks made of triple-lined plastic that can hold up to 90 kilograms of cowpeas or other farm produce. They cut agricultural …

SA is world’s 9th largest GM crop producer

November 6th, 2015 / News24.com, South Africa

South Africa was the world’s ninth largest producer of genetically modified (GM) crops, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday. Briefing the media on a Cabinet decision to approve the country’s Third National Report on the Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, Radebe said the country remained …

Weeding through the facts on herbicide resistance

November 5th, 2015 / Food Insight, US

As long as farmers have been farming, crops have faced considerable damage from diseases, insects, and weeds. To combat these problems, producers use a range of crop protection products to keep their plants safe. Lately, we hear media reports about more and more weeds becoming resistant to herbicides. So what …

Nigeria’s first confined field trial of genetically improved rice

November 5th, 2015 / This Day, Nigeria

The Federal Government, and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), on Wednesday commissioned Nigeria’s first Confined Field Trial (CFT) facility for the production of a genetically improved African rice variety. It is known as Nitrogen-Use Efficient, Water-Use Efficient and Salt Tolerant (NEWEST) rice and is aimed at addressing the country’s …

New plant breeding techniques: Innovation breakthrough or GMOs in disguise?

November 5th, 2015 / EurActiv.com

‘New plant breeding techniques’ focus on developing new seed traits within a given species through genetic engineering. A troubling question for policymakers is whether these techniques should fall under GMO legislation. Read …

Pineapple genome unlocked

November 4th, 2015 / ISAAA, US

Pineapple has been cultivated for more than 6,000 years, thriving in water-starved environments. To understand how pineapples grow to be juicy under such conditions, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took a closer look at the plant’s genes and genetic pathways. Read …

The importance of using herbicides

November 4th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: These days, it is extremely difficult to practice productive farming without the use of chemicals to protect crops from pests, diseases as well as the weeds especially for the farmers that are operating on a large scale. Read …

Breeding higher yielding crops by increasing sugar import into seeds

November 3rd, 2015 / Science Daily, US

A team of scientists led by Carnegie’s Wolf Frommer has now discovered that a sugar-transport protein in maize and rice called SWEET4 is both necessary for successful seed filling and shows genome changes that indicate domestication by humans. The new research is published in Nature Genetics. Read …