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The 2015 GMO debate: science eclipses anti-biotech hysteria

December 21st, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The emergence of CRISPR – most scientists believe this gene-editing technique is a game-changer and the media coverage has been favorable. This technology is on a collision course with the food movement since CRISPR has the potential to address many of its concerns, from food safety to animal welfare. As …

Sorghum height research offers insight for wider crop improvement

December 21st, 2015 / Feed navigator.com

Tracking height traits in sorghum plants may boost develop of better preforming sorghum and offer lessons for improving other feed crops. Read …

‘Let’s pool knowledge together on biotechnology’

December 17th, 2015 / GhanaWeb.com

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, Mahama Ayariga has called on the proponents and sceptics of biotechnology to pool their knowledge together to achieve the collective goal of food security and food sovereignty. “If our common goal is to grow African agriculture then fora such as we are …

The crop conundrum

December 16th, 2015 / Nature, UK

European Commission directive on releasing GM organisms into the environment covers field trials and cultivation defines GM organisms as having alterations that cannot occur naturally, which were made by genetic engineering. What is unclear is how this relates to experiments in which researchers introduce foreign DNA to direct a precise …

Myth busting: there is no such thing as GMO sugar

December 16th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Until recently, no one really cared about the source of their sugar, because the end product, pure sucrose, is identical. What changed the dialogue was the introduction of and acceptance of genetically engineered (GE) sugar beets. Read …

Beyond the poverty of poverty reduction: the case of cotton

December 15th, 2015 / African Arguments, UK

Africa’s cotton producers still seek a better trade deal. But as the WTO Ministerial meeting convenes in Nairobi, the poverty hurdles are much higher than just trade barriers. But to move beyond the poverty of poverty reduction, decision-makers will need to embrace broader and deeper understandings of Africa’s cotton and …

Africa closer to a cure for banana disease

December 15th, 2015 / Inter Press Service

Scientists at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) headquartered in Ibadan, Nigeria in partnership with the National Agriculture Research Organisation (NARO) in Uganda are close to a breakthrough after more than eight years researching solutions to BXW.In one Ugandan dialect, ‘kiwotoka’, describes the steamed look of banana plants affected …

A new breed of edits

December 14th, 2015 / Nature, UK

Genome editing allows much smaller changes to be made to DNA compared with conventional genetic engineering. In terms of agriculture, this might win over public and regulator opinion. Genome editing offers both subtlety and speed, wherever in the genome a researcher wants to target. The speed comes from the technologies’ …

Will banana crisis force more rational consideration of GMOs?

December 14th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The new strain of Panama Disease, known as Tropical Race 4, has already spread from Southeast Asia across the rest of the continent, as well as to Africa, the Middle East and Australia. Whenever it makes what researchers say is an inevitable jump to Latin America, it will devastate commercial …

University-made Roundup Ready seeds ready for market

December 1st, 2015 / Harvet Public Media, US

After the patent on one of the most popular versions of genetically engineered soybeans expired this year, U.S. universities are creating new generic GMO soybean varieties, many of which are designed to guard against specific, local pests. Ninety percent of soybean seeds planted in the U.S. are genetically engineered …