GMO

Article sheds light on GM potatoes

In a recently published article by Nat Graham, a doctoral candidate in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri Columbia, the author sheds some light on how genetic modification is being used in potato growing operations across the US. In the extensive article, published by GMOanswers.com, Graham responds to several typical questions related to genetically modified potatoes. One of[Read[Read More…]

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Ex-Director of J.R. Simplot publishes book on GMO potatoes

The Ex-Director of J.R. Simplot and team leader at Monsanto, Caius Rommens, was interviewed by Sustainable Pulse on the same day that his book ‘Pandora’s Potatoes: The Worst GMOs’ was released on Amazon this week. Rommens previously worked for 26 years as a genetic engineer, saying that he created hundreds of thousands of different GM potato varieties at a direct cost of[Read[Read More…]

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Researchers to develop ‘watchdog’ potato plants that can ‘talk’

Researchers at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will work to modify potato plants to detect and report potential environmental threats such as nerve agents, radiation and plant pathogens to soldiers. The aim is also to help protect civilians living in post-conflict settings, and to innovate a new, revolutionary ‘sensor platform’. Awarded by[Read[Read More…]

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Simplot’s Innate variety, questions about GMO potatoes addressed in video series

Simplot says its Innate® GM potato variety was developed using genes only from wild and cultivated Russet potatoes. The company says on a website which explains the background of this biotech potato: “We’ve used modern bioengineering (also known as ‘genetic modification’ or ‘GM’) techniques to bring together some of the best traits from different types of potatoes. Innate potatoes grow just like regular[Read[Read More…]

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PVY-resistant GMO potato variety approved by Argentine authorities

Argentine authorities have officially approved the commercialization of a genetically modified PVY-resistant potato variety. The transgenic potato, named TIC-AR233-5, will help growers avoid losses from the virus. The virus can result in yield declines of up to 70%, according to Argentina-based Tecnoplant, which holds the marketing license. The potato will also help growers to use fewer agrochemicals in its cultivation, the company said. The Health[Read[Read More…]

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CRISPR news: J.R. Simplot first ag company to receive gene editing licensing rights; potential for new potato varieties

J.R. Simplot Company, based in Idaho in the US, announced that it has acquired gene editing licensing rights that could one day be used to help farmers produce more crops and make grocery store offerings such as strawberries, potatoes and avocados stay fresher longer. J.R. Simplot Company on Monday announced the agreement with DowDuPont Inc. and the Broad Institute of the[Read[Read More…]

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Popular potato variety in Uganda getting a GMO makeover

Victoria is a popular local potato variety in Uganda. Farmers love it because it is high yielding. However, Victoria is also extremely susceptible to potato late blight disease. With each growing season, these farmers face a threat of 60 to 100 percent yield losses due to Late Blight. Climate related risks have worsened the situation leading to increasingly food insecure households. However,[Read[Read More…]

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Bayer completes $63-billion Monsanto takeover; name to disappear forever

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer said Thursday its two-year pursuit of US-based Monsanto over, as the two firms signed off a $63-billion merger deal. “Shares in the US company will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with Bayer now the sole owner of Monsanto Company,” the German firm said in a statement. In an industry preparing for[Read[Read More…]

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Blight research: GM potato, IPM can reduce environmental impact of potato production by over 95%

Researchers with Teagasc in Ireland have concluded their field study which investigated both the environmental and agronomic impact of a GM potato variety genetically engineered to resist late blight disease, caused by Phytophthora infestans. Potato late blight can rapidly destroy potato crops with growers commonly having to resort to spraying their crops with fungicides on a near weekly basis. Teagasc research[Read[Read More…]

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GMO potato can reduce fungicide use by 90 percent, but activists not happy

Researchers in Ireland and the Netherlands have discovered that a genetically engineered potato carrying a blight resistance gene could help farmers reduce fungicide sprays by up to 90 percent. Scientists from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Teagasc, the Irish agricultural research agency, conducted three years of field tests in the two countries to examine the effectiveness of potato genes aiming to confer[Read[Read More…]

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Argentina: Scientists develop non-browning potatoes using CRISPR gene editing

Researchers of the INTA [Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria], Balcarce, have edited the genome that causes enzymatic browning in potatoes, alters the nutritional properties and quality of the tubers. “We verified that we are capable of generating, within a potato cell, a gene editing machinery that specifically targets the chosen gene and changes its genetic sequence,” explained Sergio Feingold, director of[Read[Read More…]

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Teagasc: GM potato trial cuts blight fungicide use by up to 90%

A genetically modified potato variety designed to resist the devastating disease blight, enabled fungicide use to be cut by 80-90% in trials, without compromising efficacy or yield. Research company Teagasc has concluded that combining GM technology with an integrated approach to disease control can dramatically cut the overall environmental impact of potato growing. Irish researchers spent the past three years comparing one[Read[Read More…]

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CropLife Canada: Consumer confidence towards biotech improving, but fear of pesticides still out there

Consumer confidence in government regulations around biotechnology is improving, according to CropLife Canada polling in the country. “We’re finding the attitudes of Canadians about biotechnology is really getting better,” says Dennis Prouse, vice president, government affairs, CropLife Canada. “Our actual research finds that Canadian attitudes have taken a good jump forward, and I think that’s largely due to the unblemished safety[Read[Read More…]

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Bayer-Monsanto merger ‘could reshape agriculture’

Seed and chemical giants Bayer and Monsanto said Wednesday that they will merge to become one of the world’s biggest agriculture giants, a $66 billion mega-deal that could reshape the future of farming and enhance their influence over the planet’s food supply. Bayer said it will spearhead the largest all-cash buyout in history in hopes of taking over St. Louis-based Monsanto, the[Read[Read More…]

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Researchers from the US, Indonesia and Bangladesh creating GMO potato to fight late blight

Researchers from the U.S., Indonesia and Bangladesh is creating a genetically-engineered potato to fight the late blight. The disease remains an issue for farmers worldwide, especially in Bangladesh, where many struggle with hunger. “Late blight is the number one constraint for potato production, and Bangladesh has a perfect environment for this disease,” said Jim Bradeen, co-director of the University’s Stakman-Borlaug Center[Read[Read More…]

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This nutritive ‘golden potato’ is the latest GMO superfood

Sufferers of malnutrition in the global south could soon find help from an unlikely source: a humble potato, genetically tweaked to provide substantial doses of vitamins A and E, both crucial nutrients for health. Dubbed the “golden potato,” boosted levels of provitamin A carotenoids are converted into vitamin A by digestive enzymes when eaten. The potato was genetically engineered in Italy using[Read[Read More…]

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Canadian breeders developed Colorado potato beetle resistant varieties – after 30 years of trials

It’s taken almost 30 years, but Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientists have finally won a monumental battle against the Colorado potato beetle (CPB). Dr. Benoit Bizimungu and Agnes Murphy, potato breeding research scientists at the Fredericton Research and Development Centre, recently developed two selections that are resistant to the major insect pest. Both varieties are available for industry to use[Read[Read More…]

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To go GMO or no: Study examines question of genetic engineering and risk in varietal selection of potatoes

In a scientific study published this month in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, a research team at Montana State University examines the farm management decision of whether to adopt a new, genetically engineered potato variety, in particular three GMO Innate varieties developed by Simplot and approved for commercial use by the USDA in March 2017. The researchers note that the new[Read[Read More…]

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GMO potato can help Bangladeshi farmers cut pesticide use

Bangladesh is the world’s seventh-largest producer of potatoes. Most of the crop is grown by small-holder farmers. To help small-holder farmers, the Feed the Future Biotechnology Potato Partnership based at Michigan State University in the US, is using the tools of biotechnology to develop a genetically engineered potato resistant to late blight disease. The Partnership will develop and bring to market[Read[Read More…]

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Simplot partners with Spanish biotech company to enhance nutritional properties of potatoes

Iden Biotechnology – a Spanish biotechnology company – and J.R. Simplot Company, a potato processor and developer and marketer of Innate® GMO potatoes, recently entered into an agreement to explore the potential for nutritional enrichment of the potato. As part of the agreement, Iden will identify promising genes for potential use in Simplot’s proprietary Innate® biotechnology platform. Iden has established other[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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