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Ugandan legislator on why his nation needs to ‘wake up’ on GMOs

May 1st, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Robert Kafeero Sekitoleko is an engineer, legislator and chairperson of the Sectoral Committee on Science and Technology in Uganda’s Parliament. He has faced the wrath of opposing forces in an effort to drive the debate and passing of the Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill to allow GMO crop breeding in Uganda. …

Uganda: ‘Disaster’: Scientists condemn GM law amendments

April 20th, 2018 / Sunrise, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya reports:
A number of scientists have expressed shock and anger at the proposed restrictive requirements that were included in the long-awaited law on Biotechnology with some labelling them a disaster and a huge setback for the country.
The angry reactions come in the wake of a new report …

Scientists discover wild relative of tomato resistant to many insects

April 18th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Scientists from the Wageningen University & Research have discovered a wild tomato species from the Galapagos Islands that is resistant to a wide range of insect pests. The wild tomato is closely related to the cultivated tomato, making the resilience easier to interbreed into the latter and ultimately make it …

Gene editing in agriculture: Disclosure, communication and transparency critical to public acceptance

April 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Communication is critical around the topic of gene-editing, an emerging technology that involves making precise changes in the genetic material of plants and animals used in food production to improve food safety, reduce food waste and use less water, land and other resources.
“Consumers are going to ask, ‘Is this safe?’ …

Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops

April 12th, 2018 / John Innes Centre, UK

A new study has isolated a gene controlling shape and size of spikelets in wheat in a breakthrough which could help breeders deliver yield increases in one of the world’s most important crops.
The team from the John Innes Centre say the underlying genetic mechanism they have found is also …

Vaccines for plants? RNA spray could help protect crops from pests and disease

April 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Novel technologies are being sought to replace the traditional pesticides used to protect plants, particularly edible plants such as cereals. A new collaborative project between the University of Helsinki and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) is shedding light on the efficacy of environmentally friendly RNA-based vaccines that …

Project using R&D is changing wheat farming in Africa

April 9th, 2018 / SciDev.net, UK

Wheat farmers in 12 African Countries – Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are benefiting from a project aimed at increasing production and reducing demand gap of …

US gene-editing ruling delights plant scientists

April 9th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

Researchers in the US have been given the go-ahead to use gene-editing techniques to alter crops and plants. The decision opens the door for scientists to create a new generation of genetically altered crops without serious restriction and paves the way for approvals for similar work in Britain and the …

The USDA says Crispr-edited foods are just as safe as ones bred the old-fashioned way

April 4th, 2018 / Quartz

Last week the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would no longer regulate crops that have been genetically edited.
Gene editing, which includes Crispr techniques, enables researchers and now farmers, to genetically nip and tuck the DNA of living things and sell them to consumers. This could mean …

Kenya: Biotech maize field trials fail to get crop agency green light

April 3rd, 2018 / Business Daily, Kenya

Plans for commercial cultivation of genetically modified maize in Kenya have been dealt a blow after a plants agency declined to give State scientists the green light to proceed with the exercise.
National Biosafety Authority, the body responsible for regulating GMOs, had late last year written to the Kenya Agricultural and …