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In GMO debate, Uganda seeks to balance hope and fear

February 20th, 2018 / Christian Science Monitor, US

B4FA Fellow Christopher Bendana writes:
After publicly supporting a bill that would have legalized genetically modified crops, Uganda’s president is now calling for additional measures to address anti-GMO activists’ concerns.
Scientists in Uganda had hoped it was the dawn of a new era in food security for a drought-prone region.
In October, Uganda’s …

Does GMO corn increase crop yields? 21 years of data confirm say ‘yes’

February 20th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The analysis of over 6,000 peer-reviewed studies covering 21 years of data found that GMO corn increased yields up to 25 percent and dramatically decreased dangerous food contaminants. The study, published in Scientific Reports, analyzed field data from 1996, when the first GMO corn was planted, through 2016 in the …

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 …

Will new regulations stifle innovation in plant and animal breeding?

February 14th, 2018 / Agri-pulse, US

Gene editing is touted as a promising new way of altering the DNA of plants or animals to speed their growth, enhance flavor, extend shelf life or combat viruses. But those who see it as a key component of agriculture’s future want to make sure that the regulations written for …

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 …

Consumers more concerned about GMO crops’ environmental impact than health worries

February 7th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

According to a study from Germany, health risks were generally perceived to be lower for bioenergy than food whenever full commercialization was pursued. Furthermore, full commercialization of genetically modified food prompted higher concerns about personal health, whereas use of crops for bio-energy production was broadly related to higher levels of …

Researchers learn from plant viruses to protect crops

February 6th, 2018 / The Scientist, Canada

In recent years, however, scientists have turned to inventive new ways to protect crops. Genetic modification techniques developed over the last 30 years, for example, can arm plants with defenses against viral invasion, while leaving crop yields and food quality unaffected. Some of these modified plants are now in the …

Nigeria’s biosafety agency, activist clash over safety of GMOs

February 5th, 2018 / Premium Times, Nigeria

The disagreement between the National Biosafety Management Agency and anti-GMO campaigners over the safety of genetically modified foods took a new twist Wednesday with the agency accusing the activists of being “unpatriotic.”
Specifically calling out the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), a nongovernmental organization at the forefront of the campaign …

Nigeria: National Biosafety Management Agency committed to safe use of GMOs

February 2nd, 2018 / Independent, Nigeria

The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) says it is committed to ensuring the safe use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Nigeria.
The Director-General of NBMA, Dr Rufus Ebegba, gave the assurance on Wednesday in a statement signed by Mrs Gloria Ogbaki, the agency’s Head of Press in Abuja.
He said that …

Genetic engineering, CRISPR and food: What the ‘revolution’ will bring in the near future

February 2nd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Humankind is on the verge of a genetic revolution that holds great promise and potential. It will change the ways food is grown, medicine is produced, animals are altered and will give rise to new ways of producing plastics, biofuels and chemicals.
Many object to the genetic revolution, insisting we should …