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Pesticides endanger humans, animals, beneficial insects? Rethinking simplistic notions, understanding trade-offs in sustainability and health

November 28th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Pesticides tend to receive little else but bad press — bees are slain, lawsuits are filed, and proponents of everything from ‘raw water’ to ‘clean food’ cite the benefits of all that is ‘natural’.

Yet pesticides are vital to human health, nutrition, and global food security. Simply put, we cannot live …

#WhiteAlert: All you need to know about aflatoxins

November 13th, 2019 / Daily Nation, Kenya

In Summary

Aflatoxin-producing fungi can contaminate crops in the field, at harvest, and during storage.Aflatoxins are odourless, tasteless and colourless, making them silent but lethal poisons.These fungi are also associated with both acute and chronic toxicity in animals and humans, including acute liver damage, liver cirrhosis and liver cancers. Read more …

The complicated history of a crop created to help millions

October 14th, 2019

The term genetically modified organisms (GMOs) inspires images of crazy crops: a single plant that bears tomatoes above ground and potatoes beneath, or a tree that bears a fruit with stripes of yellow sour orange and green stripes from citron. Unlikely as they may sound, the two plants described above …

The human health benefits from GM crops

September 26th, 2019 / Plant Biotechnology Journal

The Human Health Benefits from GM CropsGenetically modified (GM) crops represent the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture, having now reached twenty-five years of commercial production. Grown by millions of farmers, many in developing countries, the technology is providing significant economic and environmental benefits, such as reductions …

India and China top hot spots of antimicrobial resistance in animals

September 25th, 2019 / SciDev.net

Asian giants China and India must take immediate steps to preserve antibiotics essential for human medicine by restricting their use in the livestock industry, recommends an author of a new study on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The study, published on 20 September in Science assessed the development of drug-resistant pathogens in developing countries. It found hot spots of …

Africa experiencing rise in antimicrobial resistance

September 25th, 2019 / Africa Science News

An international team of researchers led by ETH has shown that antimicrobial-resistant infections are rapidly increasing in animals in Africa. They produced the first global of resistance rates and identified regions where interventions are urgently needed. Read more …

Farm animals are the next big antibiotic resistance threat

September 20th, 2019 / Wired, US

Across the world, the antibiotics that farmers use to prevent illness in their animals are losing effectiveness as bacteria develop antibiotic resistance. According to new research, it’s a huge problem, one that’s been masked by a longstanding focus on the risk that resistant bacteria pose to humans instead.

This trend in the animal world carries a double …

Are GMO critics more open to gene editing that targets plant and human diseases?

November 12th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The early generations of transgenic plants focused primarily on increasing productivity, either by reducing pest damage or increasing yields by minimizing the impact of weeds. These have met with fierce opposition from anti-GMO groups and some government quarters (such as Green Party members in European parliaments).
But transgenics and other modifications …

Pesticides: what we ought to know

October 8th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Pests are a big nuisance to farmers because, among other things, they reduce crop production.
To overcome the problem, farmers often resort to buying pesticides which are poisonous chemicals manufactured to kill the pests. They may be dusted or sprayed on the crop to prevent pest attack.
The …

Gene drive wipes out lab mosquitoes

September 26th, 2018 / The Scientist

No females were produced after eight generations, causing the population to collapse.
A gene drive has successfully caused the collapse of a malaria-carrying mosquito population in the lab, researches report today (September 24) in Nature Biotechnology. This is the first time a gene drive—a genetic element that ensures its own inheritance—has …