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Week in Review

B4FA Week in Review – 24 February 2015

February 24th, 2015

Speaking at the International Forum on Agriculture and Climate Change in Paris this week, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva called for a ‘paradigm shift’ in addressing food security, asking for a focus on climate smart agriculture and implementing agroecology principles. “Food systems need to be more sustainable, inclusive and …

B4FA Week in Review – 17 February 2015

February 17th, 2015

This week, the genetically altered, non-browning “Arctic” varieties of Grannysmith and Golden Delicious apples have been approved in the United States, according to the New York Times. The first crops will be planted in spring, and could reach stores in 2017. Arctic apples are meeting with some consumer opposition despite the fact …

B4FA Week in Review – 10 February 2015

February 10th, 2015

India took the spotlight this week in response to the recently released ISAAA report Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2014, which stated that developing countries planted more biotech crops than industrialised nations. According to a Hindustan Times article, India’s 11.6 million hectares of GM crops now equals Canada’s and is bigger than China’s, while another story states …

B4FA Week in Review – 3 February 2015

February 3rd, 2015

A study published this week by Pew Research Center and American Association for the Advancement of Science concluded that scientific consensus on GMO safety is stronger than for global warming. To be precise, 89% of the scientists surveyed believed genetically modified foods are safe, in sharp contrast to public skepticism. (The full study is available here.) The …

B4FA Week in Review – 27 January 2015

January 27th, 2015

This week, SciDev offers a big-picture look at what key science issues will impact African development in 2015. High on this list is rethinking the role of higher education – including considering whether theoretical courses should be dropped for applied studies such as agriculture. This emphasis on education echoes the Gates Foundation’s optimistic statement …

B4FA Week in Review – 20 January 2015

January 20th, 2015

Big biotech policy news last week: the European Union passed a law allowing EU member states to decide for themselves whether they want to allow cultivation of genetically modified foods. To offer some perspective on this decision, we include articles by Mark Lynas, “EU GMO cultivation decision – science sidelined, but UK …

B4FA Week in Review – 13 January 2015

January 13th, 2015

We’ve got lots for you to chew on this week, including a fascinating story from Science about what new archaeological findings reveal about the genetic evolution of maize. It turns out that our understanding of how the plant evolved and spread is more complex than had been thought. In biotech news, a recent …

B4FA Week in Review – 6 January 2015

January 6th, 2015

Happy new year, and welcome back to the B4FA weekly newsletter! We hope you have had a restful and happy holiday.
We kick off 2015 with a handful of interesting stories from around the world. This week, the issue of banana wilt is taking center stage, with the FAO addressing the crisis in …

B4FA Week in Review – 23 December 2014

December 23rd, 2014

Welcome to the Christmas edition of the B4FA weekly newsletter! We’ve got plenty of interesting features this week, including a piece on agroecology – a science that considers what agricultural systems work best to ensure healthy relationships within ecosystems. The author, journalist Rebecca Randall, argues that science and sustainability, not ideology, should prevail – including the possible use of GMOs. We …

B4FA Week in Review – 16 December 2014

December 16th, 2014

Just a few days ago, the University of Arkansas released the first free, replantable version of GM soy, named UA 5414RR. Farmers may plant this seed without paying a technology licensing fee, and may save seeds from harvest for future planting. An article by Ramez Naam, author of The Infinite Resource: The …

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