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Pesticides endanger humans, animals, beneficial insects? Rethinking simplistic notions, understanding trade-offs in sustainability and health

November 28th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Pesticides tend to receive little else but bad press — bees are slain, lawsuits are filed, and proponents of everything from ‘raw water’ to ‘clean food’ cite the benefits of all that is ‘natural’.

Yet pesticides are vital to human health, nutrition, and global food security. Simply put, we cannot live …

What must be done to get toxin out of Kenya’s food supply

November 27th, 2019 / The Conversation, UK

An exposé in Kenya has revealed that there are high amounts of a poisonous substance, known as aflatoxin, in many of Kenya’s popular maize flour brands. This is particularly worrying as maize flour is a staple food for most Kenyans. Part of the problem is in how maize is processed and distributed in …

Climate-smart rice production is key for global food security, says report

November 27th, 2019 / New Food Magazine, UK

Proposing three innovative finance solutions to support sustainable rice production in line with the Paris Agreement climate targets, Financing Sustainable Rice for a Secure Future was published by Earth Security Group (ESG), with support of the UN Capital Development Programme (UNCDF), the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), trader Phoenix Group, the World Business Council …

Stop the talk, get youths involved in agriculture

November 26th, 2019 / The Guardian, Nigeria

The Federal Government and states have been advised to stop the talk and put infrastructure, enabling the environment and necessary investments in place to harness the intelligence, vigour, and vibrancy of Nigerian youths in agriculture.

Harnessing them in agriculture would create job opportunities, social-economic benefits and make Nigeria food-secure. Professor Chidi …

CRISPR, disease-sensing technologies could yield a ‘cornucopia’ of healthier, tastier foods

November 25th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Consumers may soon begin purchasing fun-sized fruits and vegetables, as well as processed foods that incorporate healthier ingredients …. And producers may be able to grow crops that are drought- and flood-tolerant, yield more per acre, and are easier to harvest and transport—and are tastier, more nutritious, and less allergenic, …

Key steps in curbing aflatoxin in maize

November 25th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Aflatoxin is a fungal polyketide secondary metabolite caused by two main fungi; Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, both of which produce four types of aflatoxins; aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2. Aflatoxin B1 is the most common and can be carcinogenic if the toxicity level exceeds the set thresholds. 

Maize is …

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’ …

Bangladesh could be the first to cultivate golden rice, genetically altered to fight blindness

November 22nd, 2019 / Science Magazine, US

Soon. That has long been scientists’ answer when asked about the approval of golden rice, a genetically modified (GM) crop that could help prevent childhood blindness and deaths in the developing world. Ever since golden rice first made headlines nearly 20 years ago, it has been a flashpoint in debates …

Rice yields could plummet 40% by 2100 due to climate change

November 22nd, 2019 / Down to Earth

Global yields of rice, the world’s largest staple food crop, could plummet by as much as 40 per cent by 2100, affecting two billion people, a new study by Stanford University in the United States has said.

The plummeting of the yields would be caused by increasing temperatures. Moreover, changes in …

Will following the regulatory script for GMOs promote public acceptance of gene-edited crops?

November 21st, 2019 / Science and Society

Risk-disproportionate regulation of gene-edited crops has been proposed to gain public acceptance for this breeding technique. However, confounding safety regulations with advocacy for an underlying technology risks weakening achievement of both objectives. Dedicated factual communication and education from trusted sources is likely to better support public acceptance of gene-edited crops. …