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What CRISPR gene editing has taught us about the GMO debate

September 28th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

After decades of special interest groups raising unwarranted fears and misrepresenting every aspect of so-called “GMOs”, opponents of innovation in plant and animal breeding are adding a new under-the-bed-monster to the mythical menagerie.  This one is called “gene editing” aka “GE,” and it seems the topic is everywhere these days. …

Uganda’s textile industry declines while its neighbors embrace GMO cotton

July 20th, 2018 / Alliance for Science

Uganda is the only East African country to witness a consistent decline in cotton production. Though Ethiopia and Kenya experienced the same challenges as Uganda, those two nations responded by embracing cost-cutting Bt technology in cotton cultivation as an urgent measure to revive the sector. Read …

Kenyan farmer: On cusp of a biotech revolution, Africa faces resistance from Europe and activists

July 16th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

Kenya and much of Africa have been denied the tools of modern crop technology available in more industrialized countries mostly because of political opposition, often linked to European activists. GMOs developed or in the pipeline to contain diseases like armyworm and climate change related challenges such as drought and flooding, but …

Kenya: GMOs no panacea for food security needs

June 29th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

While the debate on whether or not cultivation of GMOs should be allowed in Kenya rages, it is not the magic bullet to our food security challenges
While the debate on whether or not cultivation of GMOs should be allowed in Kenya rages, it is not the magic bullet to our …

Inside the genetically modified cassava research In Uganda

June 21st, 2018 / Business Focus, Uganda

On May 24, 2018, a few journalists and I visited National Crop Resources Research Institute in Namulonge, located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Kampala City.
The trip was to assess progress in research that entails developing Genetically Modified (GM) cassava that is resistant to Cassava Brown Streak Disease and Casssava …

Potential of GMOs to combat crop diseases converting skeptical Ugandan politicians

April 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Ugandan banana breeders at Kawanda have improved local banana varieties to resist the devastating banana bacterial wilt.
Potato breeders at Kachwekano in partnership with International Centre for Potato have improved the locally grown Victoria Potato variety to resist late blight disease so that potato farmers will not have to buy fungicides.
Cassava …

Plants ‘hijacked’ to make polio vaccine

August 16th, 2017 / BBC

Plants have been “hijacked” to make polio vaccine in a breakthrough with the potential to transform vaccine manufacture, say scientists. The vaccine is an “authentic mimic” of poliovirus called a virus-like particle. As well as helping eliminate polio, the scientists believe their approach could help the world react to unexpected …

ANALYSIS The costs of GMO delays in Uganda revealed

August 16th, 2017 / Sunrise

Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands have concluded that over 5,500 Ugandans could have died because of food shortages arising from delays to enact the Biosafety and Biotechnology law. The study, published July 31 in PLOS One journal, used modelling to calculate how delays in the introduction of three …

Banana wilt, GMOs and Food Evolution: What’s really happening to banana farmers in Uganda?

August 15th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project

Food Evolution captured real problems experienced by real people who need real solutions. The global forces denying millions of smallholder farmers access to improved varieties may be ignorant to the fact that African smallholder farmers grow their own food crops and have no capacity to import food from other continents …

‘Cow of the future’: Genetically engineered ‘heat resistant’ cattle could adapt to climate change

July 7th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project

Scientists are developing a breed of genetically-modified ‘cows of the future’ that will be more heat resistant and have superior ability to adapt to hot living conditions. By using genomic tools, researchers aim to produce an animal that can adapt to hot living conditions and produce top-quality beef. Read …