In the news...

Is nature “natural” anymore?

March 16th, 2018 / Mapping Ignorance, Spain

It seems that we are definitely heading towards the bio-based society, a new way of interacting with the environment where fossil fuels won’t be needed anymore and “more natural” processes for producing energy, food and materials will prevail. Remarkably, this bio-turn often involves highly advanced biotechnology and strict competitive targets, …

Vitamin A-biofortified maize: exploiting genetic native variation for nutrient enrichment

March 16th, 2018 / Crop Trust, Germany

Nutrition trials in countries administering Vitamin A capsules resulted on average in a 24% reduction in child mortality. By breeding staple crops with higher amounts of Vitamin A, the supply of Vitamin A in our food sources can be sustainably increased.
Maize provides approximately 30% of the total calories of more …

Tanzania: New improved high-iron and zinc beans released

March 15th, 2018 / Sweet Potato Knowledge Portal

The high-iron beans are a special type of conventionally bred biofortified beans that contain high levels of iron and zinc. Biofortification enhances the nutritional value of staple food crops by increasing the density of vitamins and minerals in a crop through either conventional plant breeding, agronomic practices or biotechnology. Examples …

Contributions of biotechnology to meeting future food and environmental security needs

March 14th, 2018 / The EuroBiotech Journa

Biotechnology, including genetic modifications, can play a vital role in helping to meet future food and environmental security needs for our growing population. The nature and use of biotechnology crops are described and related to aspects of food security. Biotechnological applications for food and animal feed are described, together with …

Uganda’s researchers ready to taste test their GMO vitamin A-enriched banana

March 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
The East African cooking banana is one of the major food crops eaten by the people living in central Uganda.
In the recent years, the plant has been hit by a number of pests and diseases, including nematodes, black sigatoka and banana bacterial wilt. To combat …

To plant or not to plant – the debate over GM seeds

March 9th, 2018 / Dispatch, Uganda

The current debate about the use of genetically-modified seeds in Uganda might determine Africa’s agricultural future.
John Ssembajjwe, a long-time maize farmer in the Wakiso and Masaka districts, walks around his two-acre farm in Sissa and recalls the time he almost broke down in tears after his crop was scorched by …

GenED: the next generation of biotechnology

March 9th, 2018 / Fod and Nutrition

There is enormous excitement about the potential applications of genome editing, or GenEd. Billed as a set of techniques that promise more precision, flexibility and efficiency, these new breeding technologies are fast-replacing the biotechnology used to create the first genetically engineered crops. Scientific and agricultural communities are eager to foster …

Aflatoxin a serious threat to food security, experts warn

March 9th, 2018 / KBC, Kenya

Aflatoxin is spreading fast, posing a risk to food security worldwide, as global warming increases, an epidemiologist has warned.
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) veterinary epidemiologist Johanna Lindahl said aflatoxin which is a major food security issue in Africa; is slowly spreading to the North fueled by the global warming trends.
“With …

World Women’s Day: women play vital role in biotech

March 8th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

As the world celebrates the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2018, more women are speaking up for their rights, equality, and justice. With the theme “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives”, the United Nations Commission puts a focus on the activism of rural women, who make up …

Kenya developing animal biotech regulatory guidelines

March 8th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Kenya could soon begin using genetically modified (GM) animals in research as the country’s biosafety authority is set to finalize draft guidelines on regulation of contained use of transgenic animals. Speaking at a workshop on regulation of GM animals in Kenya, acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Authority …