In the news...

Kenyan scientists warn of health risk on animal antibiotics use

April 21st, 2017 / Daily Nation, Kenya

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has warned that increased use of antibiotics to boost growth of animals is endangering the health of meat consumers.
Kemri’s Director for Microbiology Research Sam Kariuki on Thursday said that 70 per cent of antibiotics sold over the counter are being used to boost animal …

Parliamentary journalists support dialogue on the biotech and biosafety bill passage in UGANDA

April 6th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Journalists ascribed to the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA), and members of the Uganda Agribusiness Alliance (UAA) have expressed their willingness to help readers and listeners to better understand biotechnology research work done in Uganda and the need for biosafety regulation. This was during a sensitization seminar on Biotechnology and …

The challenge ahead: harnessing gene editing to sustainable agriculture

April 5th, 2017 / Bizcommunity.com

The role of genetic engineering in agriculture and food has generated enormous interest and controversies, with a large-scale embrace by some nations and wholesale bans by others. Many studies have been done and much research remains to be done on the impact genetically modified organisms (GMO) can have on broader …

Effective biosecurity key to food security in Africa

April 4th, 2017 / SciDev.net

Poor capacity in biosecurity remains a major obstacle to agricultural trade in Africa and limits farmers’ incomes and food security, a meeting has heard.
The 4th Africa Plant Biosecurity Network workshop held in Zambia on 27 February-3 March noted that effective biosecurity system could boost regional and international trade in agricultural …

Glyphosate: dangerous chemical or anti-GMO bogeyman?

March 17th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

No other chemical in modern agriculture has attracted as much scrutiny and criticism as glyphosate. The herbicide–widely sold generically but also under the trade name of Roundup, and originally patented by Monsanto–has been used in home gardens and by farmers for decades. It has played a key role in the …

Environmentalists urged to embrace biotechnology to improve food security

March 14th, 2017 / B4FA Fellow, Hope Mafaranga

B4FA Fellow, Hope Mafaranga reports: The Ethiopian Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Kare Chawicha, called on environmentalists to embrace biotechnology as one way of mitigating climate change. His comments came when he opened a communication training workshop on biotechnology and biosafety for media practitioners from Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, …

Small molecule could have big future in food security

March 13th, 2017 / University of Arizona, US

Researchers at the University of Arizona have found a promising way to prevent the loss of millions of tons of crops to a fungus each year, offering the potential to dramatically improve food security, especially in developing countries. The team’s approach uses transgenic corn plants that produce small RNA molecules …

Product, not process! Explaining a basic concept in agricultural biotechnologies & food safety

March 6th, 2017 / Life Sciences, Society and Policy

Most life scientists have relentlessly recommended any evaluative approach of agri-food products to be based on examination of the phenotype, i.e. the actual characteristics of the food, feed and fiber varieties: the effects of any new cultivar (or micro-organism, animal) on our health are not dependent on the process(es), the …

Our body does not absorb genetic material from our food

March 3rd, 2017 / DTU Food, Denmark

A major new study carried out by researchers from the Denmark’s National Food Institute has found no evidence that genetic material from the food we eat is absorbed via the intestine into the bloodstream from where it has the ability to change the body’s functions.
The study has been carried out …

Search for targeted pesticides leads scientists to eavesdrop on crosstalk between plants & fungi

February 13th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

In the conversation between plants and fungi, the organisms rely on a well-worn mechanism of gene-expression regulation that has stood the test of evolutionary time: RNA interference (RNAi). Listening in on the RNA crosstalk between plants and their pathogens could reveal previously unknown facets of basic plant biology, and point …