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New technologies show better details on GM plants

January 23rd, 2019 / ISAAA, US

Researchers from the Salk Institute used the latest DNAsequencing technologies to study exactly what happens at a molecular level when new genes are inserted into plants. Scientists usually rely on Agrobacterium tumefaciens when they want to put a new gene into a plant. Decades ago, scientists discovered that when the bacteria infected a tree, it …

Genetic search reveals key to resistance in global cotton pest

October 30th, 2018 / Phys.org

In the most recent battle in the unending war between farmers and bugs, the bugs are biting back by adapting to crops genetically engineered to kill them.
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences identifies a dominantly inherited mutation that confers resistance to engineered cotton …

Uganda’s textile industry declines while its neighbors embrace GMO cotton

July 20th, 2018 / Alliance for Science

Uganda is the only East African country to witness a consistent decline in cotton production. Though Ethiopia and Kenya experienced the same challenges as Uganda, those two nations responded by embracing cost-cutting Bt technology in cotton cultivation as an urgent measure to revive the sector. Read …

Kenya starts planting biotech cotton under national performance trials

June 14th, 2018 / ISAAA

Kenya is one step away from commercializing Bt cotton following the commencement of National Performance Trials (NPTs) to identify suitable varieties for different agro-ecological zones. This comes after the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) granted an Environmental Impact Assessment license to Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Fisheries Organization (KALRO) to undertake …

Ethiopia approves environmental release of Bt cotton and grants special permit for GM maize

June 8th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The Government of Ethiopia is the latest African country to authorize cultivation of biotech crops by granting two landmark approvals for environmental release of Bt cotton and research trials on biotech maize. In a letter signed by the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change H.E. Gamado Dale to the …

Kenyan government banks on Bt cotton to revive textile industry

April 18th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The Kenyan government is banking on adoption of Bt cotton to revive the textiles and apparel industry and increase the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the country’s GDP from the current 9.5 percent to 15 percent by 2022. Speaking during a national biotechnology stakeholders’ luncheon, adviser on textile value …

Bt Corn associated with higher yields, less insecticide use in neighboring fields

March 16th, 2018 / The Scientist, Canada

In 1996, scientists introduced a type of transgenic maize with built-in protection against pests, such as the European corn borer, using genes derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that code for proteins toxic to some insects but harmless to humans. Since then, a host of studies have quantified the benefits—in …

Plagued by pests – African farmers may soon have access to insect-resistant GMO cowpeas – for free

January 23rd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A project begun nearly 15 years ago is finally coming to fruition, as Nigeria is poised to become the first country to release a genetically modified variety of insect-resistant cowpeas to farmers.
“The cowpea growers have been very supportive. They like the GM crop. They have seen it perform and they …

Precision agriculture: can smallholders participate?

May 23rd, 2016 / The Chicago Council

Precision agriculture in a slightly altered form can be spread to smallholders in Asia and Africa, despite farm size and asset limitations. No-till farming had its start on big farms in North America in the 1970s, initially as a way to save diesel fuel, but variants on this “conservation agriculture” …

Researchers evolve new toxin to target agricultural pests

April 30th, 2016 / Arstechnica, UK

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crops have been one of the most successful applications of genetic engineering in agriculture. The crops carry a gene that encodes a bacterial protein that kills insects that ingest it. While it’s possible to spray crops with the Bt toxin instead, farms that rely on Bt …