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Viewpoint: It’s time to replace our fear-based genetic engineering regulations

October 22nd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

In the early 1970s a group of scientists — none involved in agriculture or food — raised concerns about the hypothetical hazards that might arise from the use of the newly discovered molecular genetic modification techniques (recombinant DNA technology) that could alter the inheritable characteristics of an organism via directed …

Gene drive wipes out lab mosquitoes

September 26th, 2018 / The Scientist

No females were produced after eight generations, causing the population to collapse.
A gene drive has successfully caused the collapse of a malaria-carrying mosquito population in the lab, researches report today (September 24) in Nature Biotechnology. This is the first time a gene drive—a genetic element that ensures its own inheritance—has …

Rice genes could be key to stemming nitrogen pollution

August 28th, 2018 / Scientific American

Rice, wheat and other grains that have been bred to produce larger harvests using less land have been critical to feeding Earth’s population in the past 50 years. But these crops come with a significant cost: Their thirst for the chemical nutrients in fertilizer contributes to pollution that threatens air, …

When is genetic modification not genetic modification?

August 3rd, 2018 / The royal Society

When is modifying genetics not genetic modification? Strange question but it’s one that the European Court of Justice has spent two years deliberating. The court’s decision determines whether the latest generation of tools for making changes to the DNA of plants, animals and microorganisms come under the same regulations as …

Genetically modifying rice to produce HIV-neutralizing proteins

August 1st, 2018 / Phys.org

A team of researchers from Spain, the U.S. and the U.K. has genetically modified a strain of rice to produce HIV-neutralizing proteins. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes the technique by which they modified the rice and how it might …

GM crop ruling shows why the EU’s laws are wholly inadequate

July 30th, 2018 / The Conversation

We should assess new crop varieties on the traits they are supposed to deliver, not on how those traits were introduced. The system needs to be proportional and risk-based. This should of course include consideration of the unintended effects of whatever genetic improvement process was used. Instead we spend years …

European court appears poised to rule that gene edited crops should not be regulated as GMOs

July 24th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Gene editing in agriculture takes centre stage [July 25th] when Europe’s highest court rules in a case that could determine the fate of the technology that is already making waves in the field of medicine.
The European Union has long restricted the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) widely adopted around …

Genome editing in agriculture: methods, applications, and governance

July 12th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) released an Issue Paper titled Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications, and Governance. CAST explains that genome editing is a powerful new method that enables unprecedented control over genetic material and offers the opportunity to make rapid advances that influence agricultural practices. …

GMOs are not dangerous

July 10th, 2018 / Modern Ghana

Former National President of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana Mohammed Adams Nasiru has dismissed concerns Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) are harmful to humans.
In a clear deviation from the position of the association he used to lead, Mr. Nasiru insisted GMOs don’t pose any danger to humans and no one …

Weeds are winning the war against herbicide resistance

June 28th, 2018 / Scientific American

Herbicides are under evolutionary threat. Can modern agriculture find a new way to fight back?
For farmers, protecting fields from pests and plagues is a constant battle fought on multiple fronts. Many insects have a taste for the same plants humans do, and pathogenic microbes infect leaves, shoots and roots. Then …