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Uganda: GMO regulation will hinder food security

September 23rd, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

One of the major farming debates in the local media recently has been the second rejection of the GE Regulation Bill by President Museveni. He raised a number of issues in the document including requiring lawmakers to review the use of poisonous and dangerous viruses and bacteria, …

Viewpoint: Activist myth-making, anti-science lobbying undermine Uganda’s path to food security

September 20th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

At the end of August, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni rejected for the second time a proposed biosafety bill that would have granted farmers access to  genetically engineered (GE) crops. Summing up his skepticism of the legislation, Museveni argued in a letter to parliament that

[S]cientific inventions may cause harm to humans and that, this …

Tomato jumping genes could help speed-breed drought resistant crops

September 19th, 2019 / ISAAA, US

Researchers from the University of Cambridge’s Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) and Department of Plant Sciences have discovered that drought stress can trigger the activity of a family of jumping genes (Rider retrotransposons) previously known to contribute to fruit shape and color in tomatoes. Their research revealed that the Rider family is also present and …

Inducible CRISPR-Cas9 improves the precision of genome editing in rice

September 19th, 2019 / ISAAA, US

DNA delivery into tissue cultures is a simple method for expressing CRISPR-Cas9 and creating genome edits in the plants. This approach, however, allows strong doses of CRISPR-Cas9 to persist far beyond the incidence of targeting i.e. until genetic segregation of the Cas9 gene.

Although precision is an inherent quality of CRISPR-Cas9, the strong persistent doses in numerous cells throughout the …

Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda utilize Kenya’s biotech research, while nation still bans GMOs

September 18th, 2019 / Business Daily Africa

Countries like Ethiopia, Nigeria and Rwanda are increasingly using Kenya’s biotechnology research findings to guide their food security plans as strict laws discourage GMO crops at home.

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) scientists said Kenya has become a testing ground for technologies that end up benefiting other nations.

They …

Ban on GM technology, biggest obstacle to food security, scientists say

September 16th, 2019 / KBC, Kenya

The Kenyan government should embrace the use of biotechnology in order to boost food security.

According to scientists, the ban of Genetically Modified (GM) technology imposed in the country in 2012 has been the biggest obstacle to food sustainability.

The scientists have for the last ten years been carrying out successful Confined …

‘Patchwork’ of global gene editing regulations will harm seed production, group warns

September 4th, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Failing to harmonize international regulations around the use of gene editing in agricultural production will hurt seed production globally, the International Seed Federation has cautioned.

The Federation wants governments and agricultural sector players to make conscious efforts to treat gene editing technology in a way that avoids the “mistakes” that have …

GM tech expands with more crops to more countries

September 3rd, 2019 / SciDev.net

Recent developments in genetic modification (GM) technology include a way to prevent the popular Cavendish banana variety from being wiped out by the Fusarium wilt fungus, according to the latest report of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) released last week (29 August) in Manila.The Cavendish …

John Innes discovery could pave the way for disease-resistant rice crops

August 23rd, 2019 / Food Ingredients

Researchers at the John Innes Centre have come one step closer to genetically engineering rice that is resistant to a globally devastating fungus. The discovery, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, provides new insights into how rice’s immune receptors recognize and bind to fungal proteins. With a grip on how …

Biotech crops continue to help meet the challenges of increased population and climate change

August 22nd, 2019 / ISAAA, US

A total of 70 countries adopted biotech crops through cultivation and importation in 2018, the 23rd year of continuous biotech crop adoption, according to the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2018(ISAAA Brief 54) released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) today. Twenty-six countries (21 …