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Synchronised policies needed for biotech

July 26th, 2018 / The Land, Australia

The most recent data shows that in 2017, 189.8 million hectares of biotech/genetically modified (GM) crops were planted across 24 countries, and imported by 43 countries, according to industry organisation the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).
To date, growth in planted hectares has been largely confined …

European ruling could slow Africa’s push for CRISPR crops

July 26th, 2018 / Wired.com

Many European scientists cheered back in January when it seemed the court of the European Union would ease its restrictions on gene-editing technology in food. In a 15,000-word opinion, an advisor to the European Court of Justice suggested that gene-edited crops should not face the same stiff regulations as genetically …

CABI launches space-age technology to fight crop-devastating pest outbreaks in Kenya

July 24th, 2018 / African Farming, UK

Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), funded by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP), is developing a Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) to fight against crop-devastating pest outbrakes in Kenya.
The service was launched at a Plantwise plant clinic in Manyatta in Kenya’s Eastern Province.
Cambria Finegold, global director …

European court appears poised to rule that gene edited crops should not be regulated as GMOs

July 24th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Gene editing in agriculture takes centre stage [July 25th] when Europe’s highest court rules in a case that could determine the fate of the technology that is already making waves in the field of medicine.
The European Union has long restricted the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) widely adopted around …

Genome editing in agriculture: methods, applications, and governance

July 12th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) released an Issue Paper titled Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications, and Governance. CAST explains that genome editing is a powerful new method that enables unprecedented control over genetic material and offers the opportunity to make rapid advances that influence agricultural practices. …

Will Africa embrace CRISPR gene editing and the next phase of the biotech revolution?

July 12th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Scientists around the world are increasingly turning to the promise of CRISPR gene editing to tackle any number of problems facing humanity.
These efforts may have started in the US, Europe and Asia, but they have since spread to African nations. South African scientists are exploring the …

Seed industry sees plant breeding innovation as key to sustainable agriculture

July 6th, 2018 / AgroNews

“Innovations in plant breeding are enabling us to develop plants that meet the needs of a changing world,” said President of the International Seed Federation (ISF) Jean-Christophe Gouache at the opening ceremony of the ISF World Seed Congress 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. “This is down to the ‘power of genetics,’” …

We should reward scientists for communicating to the public

July 6th, 2018 / Scientific American

Esther Ngumbi, postdoctoral researcher at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Entomology Department and a Food Security Fellow with Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship, writes:
Scientific discoveries that can improve people’s lives and change the world should be communicated widely with the public, but too often that valuable knowledge is locked …

Helping plants remove natural toxins could boost crop yields by 47%

July 5th, 2018 / BizCommunity

Can you imagine the entire population of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom and France going hungry? You don’t need to imagine. That is exactly what happens every day when an estimated 815 million people around the globe go hungry. In the short term, the problem is …

Managing resistance of African stem borer to BT-maize

July 5th, 2018 / Farmers' Weekly

Andri Visser, a doctoral student at the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management at North-West University, explores how assumptions about the behaviour of the African stem borer affect the resistance management strategy and sustainability of Bt-maize.
he African stem borer has proved a formidable foe for maize producers in South Africa. …