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Sequencing date palm genomes could lead to drought, disease resistant varieties

November 20th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A a team of scientists has found the genetic mutation responsible for the red or yellow colour of the sugary date fruit. The discovery is part of the ongoing 100 dates! gene sequencing project at NYUAD. Thanks to a three-year collaboration between researchers in the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Syria, …

Squash pots and bad bananas

November 19th, 2015 / Huffington Post Green, US

A promising biotech solution (developed by Ugandan scientists for Ugandan farmers) involves the transfer of 2 genes from green peppers into the banana plant to give it resistance to wilt. It has had tremendous success in field trials but is running into opposition from anti-GMO activists who, not unlike Honeycutt, …

Enhancing the biotechnology of crops with microbials

November 19th, 2015 / Country Guide, Canada

B4FA Fellow, Abdallah el-Kurebe reports: When the word “biotech” first leapt onto the agri-food scene, there were plenty of proponents and opponents for the science of implanting different genes into corns, soybean and canola genetics. The first Bt hybrids offered yield advantages, and the early days of glyphosate-tolerant soybeans saw …

How modern biotechnology can create 25 000 jobs

November 19th, 2015 / NewsDiary Online, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow, Abdallah el-Kurebe reports: Nigeria Federal Government’s (FG) determination to diversify the economy as a result of the challenges in the oil sector has set it to develop immutable strategies that would ensure the creation of, at least, 25,000 jobs annually from the biotechnology sector. A statement by the …

Acceptance of GM crops spreads

November 18th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali reports: The Kenyan government is considering lifting the ban on GMOs, which will probably be this month. Previously, the Deputy President, William Ruto, made the announcement at the fourth Annual Biosafety Conference organised by the Kenya National Biosafety Authority (NBA) in Nairobi. “Mark my words, in …

20 years experience of GM crops

November 18th, 2015 / ISAAA, US

In spite of the rapid adoption of GM crops, their use remains contentious. Public opposition and overregulation have become real threats to further developments in modern plant sciences. It is widely believed that GM crops are bad for human health, damage the environment, and hurt smallholder farmers in developing countries, …

Sustainable agriculture is all about smart technology and scaling up

November 16th, 2015 / Aeon

Louise O Fresco writes “… New generations of farmers must receive assistance in order to increase productivity, and reduce hard labour and negative environmental impact. The challenge is not to maintain traditional production, but to protect tradition by combining it with the greatest advances in science to create truly sustainable …

GM crops and the developing world: opposing sides miss the bigger picture

November 14th, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

Sally Brooks writes “… The majority of genetically modified (GM) crops are now cultivated in the developing world. In 2014, around 53% of the 182m hectares (nearly two million square kilometres) of GM crops were grown in these countries… but in sub-Saharan Africa, there are only 2.7m hectares of …

Time we embraced GMOs

November 14th, 2015 / The Herald, Zimbabwe

OPINION, Lloyd Gumbo writes “… Government must allow trials on the BT Cotton to establish if it is compatible with Zimbabwean soil if we are to reduce the cost of production and increase yields.This is the only way our cotton farmers can get value for their products on the international …

Former biotech critic authors science-based book on GM crops

November 12th, 2015 / ISAAA, US

The book “Extreme Misunderstanding of GM Crops”, the first science based publication on GM crops was recently released in Japanese by Mr. Masami Kojima. Mr. Kojima was an active anti-GM newspaper journalist in Japan. The book documents scientific information and benefits of GM crops from credible scientific studies, as well …