In the news...TEST

Genetic makeup of thousands of rice varieties placed in global seed data pool

October 9th, 2015 / AllAfrica

Genome sequences of more than 3,000 rice varieties have been placed with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) by IRRI, the world’s leading rice research institute, in a move to set up a global data exchange system for crop genetic resources. Having genetic information …

Stakeholders from Africa visit Bt cotton fields in India

October 2nd, 2015 / ISAAA, US

Delegates from 29 East and South African cotton growing countries participate in a week long study tour to Bt cotton fields in India from September 27 to October 2, 2015. The “Seeing is believing” study tour is being conducted by the South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC), New Delhi, in …

Talking Biotech: Current pest control strategies increasingly focused, less toxic, and work

September 28th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The topic of “pesticides” is the new frontier in the opposition to agricultural biotechnology. Opponents of the technology blame new genetic improvement methods for perceived increases in chemical controls for plant, animal and fungal pests. However, scientists argue that our pest control strategies are increasingly focused, less toxic, and …

Addressing GMO misinformation in Africa

September 25th, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

Ella Nyakunu, a South Africa-based manager of a project helping to articulate biosafety and biotechnology issues around agriculture in Southern Africa recalls how people in her home country, Zimbabwe, tease her each time she goes there. There’s a chance for scientists who deal with GM technology to explain to …

Genetic diversity in our food systems

September 25th, 2015 / Global Plant Council

Our civilization developed with the domestication of plants for food, fiber and shelter about 10,000 years ago. Since then we have made constant improvements to these domesticated plants based on genetic diversity. It is the conservation, evaluation and utilization of this genetic diversity that will be essential for further …

South Africa: GM corn, soy & cotton OK but not potato

September 25th, 2015 / AFK Insider, US

South Africa has rejected genetically modified potatoes for commercial production, raising questions about a double standard that allows GM corn, cotton and soy to be grown and sold there. See …

Resistance to GM comes from people who have not known hunger

September 21st, 2015 / El País, Spain

“Scientists must engage more with the public. The problem with GM food is that the public is not aware that for centuries have been doing genetic modification, albeit very random way: crossing different strains or, for many years, with mutagenesis [generating mutations] crops and subsequent selection of the most …

Kenyan Farmers raise concerns over GMO maize

September 8th, 2015 / The Star, Kenya

Farmers in Makueni last week got a chance to ask questions and voice their concerns on genetically modified maize. Peninah Mutunga, a farmer from Kathonzweni in Makueni county, Kenya, has had many questions since she first heard of genetically modified organisms. “Will the GM maize be labelled so that when …

Building better crops from the bottom up

September 7th, 2015 / Global Food Security, UK

Plant breeding using classical, top-down or forward genetic approaches has served us well in the millennia since people settled in agricultural communities and started crossing plants, selecting individuals with traits that made farming easier and the edible parts more nutritious. An alternative to top-down genetic crop improvement is the so …

Sustainable potato that resists blight given green light

August 31st, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A potato genetically engineered by J.R. Simplot Company to resist the pathogen has cleared its first federal regulatory hurdle. Sold under the company’s Innate brand. This is the second genetically engineered potato developed by Simplot to gain approval — In March, the USDA cleared sale of the Innate potato whose …

Past year