GMO

USDA, FDA, EPA launch website to promote ‘science-based’ agriculture biotechnology rules

In recognition of January 2020 as National Biotechnology Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a Unified Website for Biotechnology Regulation [on Jan. 9]. The Website streamlines information about the three regulatory agencies charged with overseeing agriculture biotechnology products and is part President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order on Modernizing the[Read More…]

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Webinar: Potato specialist explains how biotech project develops improved varieties for low-income farmers

The World Potato Congress (WPC) is very pleased to be offering this first webinar in its 2020 series featuring Dr. David Douches.  The Feed the Future – Biotechnology Potato Partnership (BPP) is a five-year, multi-institution cooperative agreement between MSU, USAID, Simplot Company and other global institutions to develop and bring to market improved potato products to low-income farmers in South East Asian countries.[Read More…]

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Viewpoint: Science denialism threatens the potential of gene-edited crops

The genetic revolution being ushered in by gene-editing promises to markedly improve our crops by making them resistant to drought, disease and insects, and by enhancing their nutritional content. At first blush, it might appear that foods engineered to address some of our nagging health issues would be widely embraced. Not so for the organizations that have demonized other GM[Read More…]

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Will CRISPR’s promise force the organic industry to reconsider its opposition to gene-edited crops?

Opposition to genetically modified (GM) crops advanced by organic activist groups (and official organizations like the US National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) or the EU’s European Court of Justice) is based on the claim that recombinant DNA technology introduces genes from one species into another. That’s not natural, these critics contend. By this definition, though, gene-editing techniques like CRISPR/Cas9 are[Read More…]

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Viewpoint: Developing countries need GMO, gene-edited crops to solve food security challenges

When Norman Borlaug won the Nobel peace prize in 1970 for his life-saving work on plant breeding, he said: “you can’t build a peaceful world on empty stomachs”. With one in every nine people on the planet still considered hungry, Borlaug’s statement has never been more relevant. Using such statistics, biotechnology proponents have said many times that the world must produce more food in[Read More…]

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Yield10 Bioscience signs agreement with J. R. Simplot to evaluate novel potato yield traits

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Yield10 Bioscience, Inc. today announced that it has signed a research agreement with Boise, Idaho-based J. R. Simplot Company, to evaluate three novel yield traits in potato. Under the agreement with Yield10, Simplot plans to conduct research with these yield traits within its research and development program as a strategy to improve crop performance and sustainability. The[Read More…]

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Argentina approves GMO virus-resistant potato expected to save farmers $45 million annually

After being de-regulated during August 2018, the National Council of Technical and Scientific Research (CONICET) last week started the formal process to register the first transgenic potato cultivar in Argentina in the National Seed Institute’s register. In partnership with biotechnological company Sidus, the CONICET developed a potato with resistance to virus Y, called SPT TICAR. CEO of the Grupo Sidus,[Read More…]

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Rwanda ready to trial GM potato varieties

Rwanda is set to join other Eastern Africa countries in growing genetically modified (GM) potato varieties, a technology that has, in the past, attracted wide-ranging public scrutiny in the country. Dr. Patrick Karangwa, the Director General of the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), told participants at the African Potato Association (APA) in Kigali that the country will try a potato variety[Read More…]

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Curbing food waste: Simplot’s senior manager of marketing and biotech affairs touts Innate potato

At a July 23 breakfast briefing titled ”Saving Food, Fighting Food Waste,” Doug Cole, the senior manager of marketing and biotech affairs at Simplot Plant Sciences in Boise, Idaho, reportedly said Simplot has developed a potato that will not brown and therefore won’t be thrown away by retailers, restaurants or consumers. According to an article by jerry Hagstrom published in[Read More…]

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Biotechnology Potato Partnership: Late blight field trials underway in Michigan

The Feed the Future Biotechnology Potato Partnership says in its latest Quarterly Update that it is testing one of it’s two 3 R-gene late blight resistant potato varieties in field trials this summer. Private sector project partner, Simplot Plant Sciences transformed the Diamant variety and Michigan State University (MSU) propagated mini-tuber certified seed via nutrient film technique (NFT) and grew[Read More…]

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Viewpoint: Dissecting the fear-based case against gene-edited crops in organic farming

For nearly 25 years, an allianceof high-profile environmental groups and organic food proponents have waged an effective scare campaign against transgenic (GMO) crops. Foods derived from these crops, the public was told, could cause food allergies, sterility, liver problems and even cancer. A 2016 report by the US National Academy of Sciences conclusively debunked such speculation, finding there is “no substantiated evidence of a[Read More…]

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Farmer’s open letter to skeptical consumers: ‘We know glyphosate and GMOs are safe, and we need both to fight climate change’

Despite repeated assurances from the mainstream science community that our food supply is safe, many consumers remain highly skeptical of conventional agriculture, mostly due to misinformation about GMO crops and pesticides perpetuated on social media. Farmers recognize how controversial their profession has become and have attempted to dialogue with consumers and assuage their concerns.  On June 10, South Australian farmer John[Read More…]

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Speeding up potato cultivation by using new methods

There are several thousand different varieties of Solanum tuberosum, commonly known as the potato around the world. But this diversity obscures the fact that various genetic and biological factors make improvement by means of traditional breeding difficult. One of the reasons is that cultivated potatoes are tetraploid, meaning that their DNA contains four sets of chromosomes. By contrast, humans are[Read More…]

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Plans for GM potato trial in the UK under fire

Thirty-one organic and environmental organisations have urged Michael Gove to reject plans by Cambridge scientists for a new open-air field trial of GM potatoes. Groups such as GM Freeze, Organic Research Centre and the Soil Association, are fighting the trial proposal, which they say could risk off-target effects and unintended impacts, such as the accidental spread of the GM crop[Read More…]

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Commercial production of high-yielding GMO potato and jute varieties coming soon in Bangladesh

High yielding varieties of potato and ‘tosha paat (jute)’ will be introduced soon for commercial production as the National Seed Board (NSB) in Bangladesh has given its approval in this regard. According to sources, the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) has developed the high yield potato variety ‘BARI Alu-81’, while the Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) has developed the high[Read More…]

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Consent sought to release GM potatoes for UK trials work on blight

The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, has applied to Defra for consent to release genetically modified potatoes for trials work. According to a document submitted by the applicant and published on the Defra website, entitled ‘Part B Information about the release application to be included on the public register’, the potato plants have been genetically modified to improve different traits including resistance[Read More…]

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Dietitian: How genetically modified foods fit into a healthful diet

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Molly Knudsen examines the disconnect between what science says and what people believe about GMO’s in a recent article titled GMOs are NOT ‘as seen on social media’. Knudsen writes that in the food world, GMOs (aka genetically modified organisms) are often depicted as the Mean Girls character Regina George. Claims appear on websites, blogs, social media,[Read More…]

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Sugarbeet exclusion from GMO labeling law in the US ‘ensures sustainable future,’ industry expert says

In December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that sugar and other highly refined products would not be subject to a mandatory genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling law, which caused a sigh of relief among those in the sugarbeet industry. “Because the beet is so heavily processed to be turned into pure sucrose, there’s no protein left,” said Rebecca Larson,[Read More…]

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Study: To convince Americans GMOs are safe, stakeholders must first convince them to open their minds

Despite widespread scientific agreement that genetically modified foods are safe to consume, the vast majority of Americans disagree and are unlikely to change their opinions unless they can first be convinced to open their minds, according to new research. A study published Jan. 17 in Nature Human Behavior revealed that more than 90% of the 2,000-plus US and European adults[Read More…]

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Potatoes have a form of ‘depression’

Scientists are trying to revolutionise potatoes and, in the process, cure the tubers’ depression, the result of generations of in-breeding. Potato depression is obviously nothing like human depression, of course. Potatoes reproduce through cloning, so their genome is laden with mutations. Those mutations could result in things such as stunted growth or shorter lifespans. A team of Chinese scientists looked[Read More…]

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GMO-free marketing is deliberately misleading consumers

This article was originally published January 4 on the Missouri Farm Bureau website. Food marketing claims have always stretched the truth. How many “miracle cures” or “superfoods” have been pitched to us over the years? But some recent trends are taking dishonest marketing tactics to a whole new level. Most people have heard of Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs. Although[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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