In the news...

Saving chocolate: Scientists develop disease-resistant hybrid cacao clones that dramatically increase yields

October 3rd, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Few cacao varieties are widely cultivated, and that’s a problem: Like many other crops, cacao is under constant threat from diseases and environmental challenges exacerbated by our tendency to grow only a few varieties with similar or identical genetic traits and defects.
In the early 1980s, Dr. Phillips-Mora worked to identify …

Africa called on to embrace plant genetic varieties to boost food security

October 2nd, 2017 / Xinhua, China

African economies should take the lead in embracing crop genetic varieties in a bid to enhance food security and sustainable agriculture, experts said.
They made the call during the African Union regional forum on the Implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in Kigali, …

Kenya to start national performance trials for Bt cotton

September 27th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

The National Biosafety Authority of Kenya has approved the field trial of Bt cotton (MON 15985 event). In The Kenya Gazette issued on September 8, 2017, published by the Authority of the Republic of Kenya, the Gazette Notice No. 8846 lists the approved GM applications in 2016-2017, including transgenic bananas …

Millet genome sequenced by scientists from 10 countries

September 27th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

An international consortium of researchers from France, India, and China has published the genome sequence of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), a cereal that belongs to the family of small-seeded grasses, grown in arid areas in the Sahel region in Africa and in Asia, especially in India.
Coordinated by the Institut de …

Kenya approves field trials for disease-resistant GMO bananas

September 26th, 2017 / Genetic literacy Project, US

The National Biosafety Authority has approved field tests for genetically modified bananas, moving the country closer to accepting growing and consumption of GMO foods.
The authority…says the approval for controlled field tests was granted on November 7 last year, paving the way for the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation to …

Chips, chocolate and coffee – our food crops face mass extinction too

September 26th, 2017 / Guardian, UK

A “sixth mass extinction” is already under way, scientists are now warning us. Species such as the Bengal tiger and blue whale are vanishing at an alarming rate, and mournful eulogies are being written on how those born in 20 years’ time may never see an African elephant. But who …

New cassava variety developed

September 26th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Cassava is an important source of food and income for small-holder farmers in several African countries, including Uganda because it grows well in conditions of drought and low soil fertility.
However, viral diseases especially Cassava Brown Streak Virus (CBSV) and Cassava Mosaic Virus (CMV) can destroy …

The regulatory status of gene-edited agricultural products in the EU and beyond

September 25th, 2017 / Emerging Topics in Life Sciences

Governments all over the world are struggling with the regulatory status of gene-edited organisms. Are they regulated? Should they be regulated? In the present paper, the main focus is on the regulatory status of gene-edited organisms within the European regulatory framework. A stepwise analysis is performed that comes to the …

We don’t have any GMO food, but genetically modified plants

September 25th, 2017 / Vanguard, Nigeria

The Federal Government has strongly assured its citizenry again that the country’s bio-security is guaranteed, insisting that there is no Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) in Nigeria.
The government, while placing the alert on importation of unauthorized maize, made it clear that no genetically modified maize had been imported into the country’s …

How do you report on crop biotechnology when critics spread misinformation?

September 25th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Interview with B4FA Fellow Christopher Bendana:
Whether its’ the result of global warming or the vagaries of a complex climate, Uganda is facing a scorching reality that is killing crops and animals. Billions of shillings that could have been used in other projects is set aside for food aid to affected …