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In GMO debate, Uganda seeks to balance hope and fear

February 20th, 2018 / Christian Science Monitor, US

B4FA Fellow Christopher Bendana writes:
After publicly supporting a bill that would have legalized genetically modified crops, Uganda’s president is now calling for additional measures to address anti-GMO activists’ concerns.
Scientists in Uganda had hoped it was the dawn of a new era in food security for a drought-prone region.
In October, Uganda’s …

Does GMO corn increase crop yields? 21 years of data confirm say ‘yes’

February 20th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The analysis of over 6,000 peer-reviewed studies covering 21 years of data found that GMO corn increased yields up to 25 percent and dramatically decreased dangerous food contaminants. The study, published in Scientific Reports, analyzed field data from 1996, when the first GMO corn was planted, through 2016 in the …

Rationalizing governance of genetically modified products in developing countries

February 20th, 2018 / Nature, UK

Ever-more powerful genetic technologies, such as genome-editing endonucleases and marker-assisted breeding, continue to facilitate the development of genetically modified (GM) crops engineered with complex traits, such as, nutritional quality, climatic resilience and stacked disease-tolerance mechanisms. But in many developing countries, the uptake of these GM products is being jeopardized by …

Why a global decline in genetic crop variety matters for the future of food

February 16th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Potatoes are native to the Andes, and over 4,000 varieties are grown there now. They come in numerous shapes, sizes and colors – red, yellow, purple, striped and spotted. A colorful mound of them resembles the bold, burnished colors of locally woven shawls.
This wide array of types is an example …

Aflatoxins jeopardize food safety and entrepreneurial food processing opportunities in Nigeria

February 15th, 2018 / AgriLinks

Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by mold that grows on crops including peanuts and maize. Hard to detect, it can have devastating impacts on human health, including high risk of liver cancer. Aflatoxins have been observed along the maize value chain in Nigeria — in farm storage, in maize containers …

How toxic is the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup?

February 14th, 2018 / The Scientist, Canada

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the world’s most widely used herbicide, Roundup, is arguably also one of the most contentious. Mass protests erupted in Europe last November after the European Commission, following much discussion, granted a five-year extension for the license to use glyphosate in agriculture in the E.U.
Farmers have …

Will new regulations stifle innovation in plant and animal breeding?

February 14th, 2018 / Agri-pulse, US

Gene editing is touted as a promising new way of altering the DNA of plants or animals to speed their growth, enhance flavor, extend shelf life or combat viruses. But those who see it as a key component of agriculture’s future want to make sure that the regulations written for …

Researchers learn from plant viruses to protect crops

February 6th, 2018 / The Scientist, Canada

In recent years, however, scientists have turned to inventive new ways to protect crops. Genetic modification techniques developed over the last 30 years, for example, can arm plants with defenses against viral invasion, while leaving crop yields and food quality unaffected. Some of these modified plants are now in the …

Nigeria’s biosafety agency, activist clash over safety of GMOs

February 5th, 2018 / Premium Times, Nigeria

The disagreement between the National Biosafety Management Agency and anti-GMO campaigners over the safety of genetically modified foods took a new twist Wednesday with the agency accusing the activists of being “unpatriotic.”
Specifically calling out the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), a nongovernmental organization at the forefront of the campaign …

Nigeria: National Biosafety Management Agency committed to safe use of GMOs

February 2nd, 2018 / Independent, Nigeria

The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) says it is committed to ensuring the safe use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Nigeria.
The Director-General of NBMA, Dr Rufus Ebegba, gave the assurance on Wednesday in a statement signed by Mrs Gloria Ogbaki, the agency’s Head of Press in Abuja.
He said that …