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GMOs have a place in African agriculture

December 4th, 2019 / GhanaWeb

The founding director of West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at the University of Ghana, has called on African governments to open the doors for the cultivation and use of genetically modified crops to address the food and nutrition insecurity challenges on the continent.

Professor Eric Danquah said the challenges …

GM potato trials point to blight resistant crops of the future

December 4th, 2019 / TSL

A genetically modified potato with improved tuber quality and resistance to the devastating disease late blight has progressed successfully through the latest stage of trials.

The field trials follow successful lab experiments to modify Maris Piper potatoes with late blight resistance genes from wild relatives of potato called Solanum americanum and Solanum venturii.

To improve …

Turn your anger at science denial into political action

December 3rd, 2019 / New Scientist, UK

Rejection of science is rampant, but scientists can do better at countering doubt and there are grounds for optimism every day, says Naomi Oreskes, author of Why Trust Science?

A historian of science at Harvard University, Naomi Oreskes is best known for exposing the tactics of science deniers. Her first book Merchants …

Agricultural universities need greater investment

November 25th, 2019 / University World News

Urgent and considerable investment is needed if African agricultural and life sciences universities are to reach their potential, according to Professor Adipala Ekwamu, executive secretary of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).

Speaking to University World News ahead of the 15th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting (AGM) taking place at the University …

Bangladesh could be the first to cultivate golden rice, genetically altered to fight blindness

November 22nd, 2019 / Science Magazine, US

Soon. That has long been scientists’ answer when asked about the approval of golden rice, a genetically modified (GM) crop that could help prevent childhood blindness and deaths in the developing world. Ever since golden rice first made headlines nearly 20 years ago, it has been a flashpoint in debates …

Will following the regulatory script for GMOs promote public acceptance of gene-edited crops?

November 21st, 2019 / Science and Society

Risk-disproportionate regulation of gene-edited crops has been proposed to gain public acceptance for this breeding technique. However, confounding safety regulations with advocacy for an underlying technology risks weakening achievement of both objectives. Dedicated factual communication and education from trusted sources is likely to better support public acceptance of gene-edited crops. …

GM foods: the battle for Africa

November 21st, 2019 / Africa Business Magazine

A combination of climate change, population growth and regional conflict has created the worst food crisis across Africa since 1945, according to aid agency World Relief.

In 2018, the African countries suffering the worst food shortages due to declining harvests driven by drought were, in order of severity, Democratic Republic of Congo, …

Leaked document suggests EU may relax its strict CRISPR-edited crop regulations

November 19th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The European Commission plans to create specific legislation to facilitate the production of genetically edited crops, following the July 2018 European Court of Justice decision that gene-edited crops should be regulated as GMOs. The Community Executive is considering developing a “new framework appropriate to the new genomic techniques”, as it …

A crop that feeds billions freed from blight by CRISPR

November 6th, 2019

Bacteria that infect rice are thwarted by changes to rice genes involved in sugar transport.

Genome editing has made one of the world’s most important crops resistant to a devastating bacterial infection.

Bacterial blight, which is caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pathovar oryzae (Xoo), can slash farmers’ yields of rice, which is a staple food for billions …

How dysfunctional regulation has decimated entire sectors of biotechnology

November 4th, 2019

“To observe government is to observe the absence of accountability,” James Freeman wrote in the Wall Street Journal.1 That’s certainly true of unwise regulation of many innovative technologies; and modern biotechnology, also known as “genetic engineering (GE)” or “genetic modification (GM),” perhaps along with civilian applications of nuclear power, could be the poster …