GMO

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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New Peruvian potato variety to help in fight against child anemia

This past Tuesday, the Agriculture Minister in Peru publicly presented a new purple flesh potato variety with higher than normal concentrations of iron and zinc. The potato is believe to become an important help in the fight against child anemia in the Andes. Agriculture Minister Gustavo Mostajo told Peruvian radio station RPP that the new potato was bred and developed[Read More…]

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GMOs 101: MSU researchers explain the basics of genetically modified organisms

An online search for “GMO” returns more than 88 million results — a tangled mess of frightening images, dense data, skepticism, insulting comments and conflicting claims and counterclaims. For the average consumer, separating reputable sources from propaganda is tough, if not impossible. What is a genetically modified organism, or GMO? Even the answer to the question can be controversial. At[Read More…]

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The Crispr debate: Irish farmers could miss out on gene editing potential, says crop scientist

Gene editing is exciting crop scientists and breeders. It allows the DNA of a crop to be precisely tweaked to improve them. Enthusiasm is mounting around its potential to boost resistance to pests and diseases in crops. Irish farmers, however, could miss out because of a European Court of Justice ruling earlier this summer. Invented by Jennifer Doudna, the power of[Read More…]

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GMO potato creator now fears its impact on human health

Of all the genetic engineers who have renounced the technology—Arpad Pusztai, Belinda Martineau, Thierry Vrain, John Fagan and Michael Antoniou, among others—Caius Rommens’ story may be the most compelling. Rommens was director of research at Simplot Plant Sciences from 2000 to 2013 where he led development of the company’s genetically engineered Innate potato. But over time, Rommens started to have serious doubts[Read More…]

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Non-GMO Project organization adds Simplot potato to its “High-Risk” list

The so-called Non-GMO Project in North America yesterday (Oct 31, 2018) added the Innate potato developed by J.R. Simplot Company to its list of “High-Risk” crops. In a press release, the organization says the potato has been added to the High-Risk list of the Non-GMO Project Standard because a GMO potato variety is now “widely commercially available” in the United States. In the press[Read More…]

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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