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Europe-banned insecticide ‘threatens Africa’s food security’

November 22nd, 2019 / SciDev.net

Scientists are calling on African policymakers to act urgently to control the use of pesticides called neonicotinoids, which threaten the wider ecosystem and food security, and have been banned by the European Union.

Neonicotinoids are nicotine-like insecticides that are used in plant protection products to fight harmful insects.

Previous studies by the European Academies’ …

Leaked document suggests EU may relax its strict CRISPR-edited crop regulations

November 19th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The European Commission plans to create specific legislation to facilitate the production of genetically edited crops, following the July 2018 European Court of Justice decision that gene-edited crops should be regulated as GMOs. The Community Executive is considering developing a “new framework appropriate to the new genomic techniques”, as it …

Study shows bees on the farm may be more valuable than pesticides

October 10th, 2019

For European rapeseed farmers, honey bees buzzing around fields may outweigh the benefits of using pesticides to fight insect damage, French researchers said.

A four-year survey in France found higher yields and profits for rapeseed fields where there’s an abundance of pollinating insects, according to a study by agricultural researcher INRA and the …

Small-scale farms hit hardest by African swine fever

August 15th, 2019

Almost five million pigs in Asia have now died or been culled because of the spread of African swine fever (ASF), according to reports by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The contagious viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs was first detected in Asia …

African swine fever continues relentless spread through Asia and Europe

August 15th, 2019

Serbian officials this week confirmed that African swine fever has infected hogs in their nation, making it the 18th country battling the incurable disease.

The virus’ worldwide spread began in earnest a year ago when it was reported in China. It has since spread relentlessly through that country and beyond, first …

CRISPR conundrum: Strict European court ruling leaves food-testing labs without a plan

July 24th, 2019 / Nature, UK

A landmark European court ruling that made gene-edited crops subject to the same stringent regulations as other genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has created a conundrum for food-testing laboratories across Europe.

The ruling that the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) delivered on 25 July 2018 requires these scattered laboratories — which …

Europe’s decision to reject gene edited crops signals it is losing its commitment to sustainable agriculture

August 21st, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

At the same time as Swedish agriculture is affected by the worst drought in recent memory, the European Court of Justice has made a decisive decision that will have far-reaching consequences for Swedish agriculture beyond this hot summer. [On July 25th], it was decided that crops in which targeted mutations …

New plant breeding techniques will ensure food quality and quantity

May 15th, 2018 / Euractiv

The new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs) are a major opportunity to move toward sustainable agriculture and simultaneously ensure food quality for EU consumers, MEP Paolo De Castro told EURACTIV.com.
According to De Castro (S&D), the EU should embrace innovation more and more in order to boost food production and cut the …

Royal Society calls for review of European GM ban

May 24th, 2016 / BBC

The ban on GM crops by European countries should be reassessed, the president of UK science body the Royal Society says. Prof Venki Ramakrishnan said the science of genetic modification had been misunderstood by the public and it was time to set the record straight. He said it was inappropriate …