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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 …

Scientists identify factors which drive the evolution of herbicide resistance

February 19th, 2018 / Science Daily, US

Scientists from the University of Sheffield have identified factors which are driving the evolution of herbicide resistance in crops — something which could also have an impact on medicine as well as agriculture.
Xenobiotic chemicals, such as herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and antibiotics, are used in both agriculture and healthcare to manage …

High adoption of biotech crops recorded in 2016

February 8th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

In 2016, the global area of biotech crops reached 185.1 million hectares, according to a research paper authored by Drs. Rhodora Aldemita and Randy Hautea of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). The results of their study are published on February 2, 2018 in GM Crops …

Understanding GMOs: genetic engineering and the future of coffee

January 31st, 2018 / Daily Coffee News

Studies suggest that by 2050, climate change will impact more than half the land currently used for coffee cultivation, creating conditions unsuitable for production. While climate change is difficult to predict, the scientific community agrees the future outlook for coffee production is dire unless immediate action is taken. The response …

Bill Gates at Edinburgh University to help fund GM crop research

January 26th, 2018 / The National, UK

Scientists at a Scottish University are being given £90 million in UK Government funding for their cutting-edge research into developing genetically modified crops that are more nutritious and flood and drought resistant.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates will visit the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus today where he will announce $40m …

Opinion: Africa should follow in South Africa’s ‘food steps’ and embrace genetic modification

January 25th, 2018 / Huffington Post, South Africa

While there was also an outbreak of the fall armyworm in South Africa, farmers experienced minimal crop damage as genetically modified crops proved far more resistant.
More than 80 percent of South Africa’s maize production is now genetically modified, which is why the country managed to harvest its biggest crop in …

Burkina Faso is moving forward with GMO research

January 22nd, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Agriculturalists in Burkina Faso say their country is still open to using the tools of biotechnology, despite the decision to stop growing genetically modified cotton.
A controversy erupted over the low quality of fiber produced by GMO (Bt) cotton, prompting a withdrawal of the seeds in 2015 after they had been …

Easing the regulatory process around certain genetic engineering techniques

January 22nd, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

The European Union and Australia took steps this week toward easing the regulatory process around certain genetic engineering techniques.
In the EU, a legal opinion found that mutagenesis techniques are, in principle, exempt from the rules that govern genetically modified organisms (GMOs), though individual EU states can regulate their use. Meanwhile, …

Gene edited crops should be exempted from GM food laws, says EU lawyer

January 19th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

Gene editing technologies should be largely exempted from EU laws on GM food, although individual states can regulate them if they choose, the European court’s advocate general has said.
The opinion may have far-reaching consequences for new breeding techniques that can remove specific parts of a plant’s genetic code and foster …

Rwanda begins process of legalizing GMO crops

January 17th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has drafted a law governing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Rwanda which will soon be forwarded to the Rwanda Law Reform Commission for review.
The draft bill was prepared along with the National Biosafety Framework, biosafety policy and regulations according to officials.
The objective of the legislation …