Environmental and public health advocates responded with alarm after the Biden administration on Monday gave a British biotechnology company a green light to unleash billions of genetically engineered mosquitoes in the United States. Read more.
Get Informed on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
Weeds have been victorious in so many battles against herbicides, it may be time to say they’re winning the war. Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth lead the way, with both exhibiting resistance to numerous modes of action. But it gets worse. Scientists at the University of Illinois have discovered strains of waterhemp that have developed resistance to chemicals not even applied to crops. Read more.
As certain world events have taken center stage over the past few years, the question of genetically engineered foods and whether consumers will ever receive clear, plain text labels has remained in the background for quite some time. Read more.
For years, environmental groups in numerous countries have warned about the potential escape of genetically engineered animals into the wild. Now it has happened. Researchers in Brazil have published a paper documenting the escape and successful reproduction of genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) aquarium fish in the wild. The fish, which contains a gene from the jellyfish family to make them fluorescent, has unknown consequences for freshwater systems in Brazil. This is the first documented case of a genetically engineered animal breeding in the wild. Read more.
We had traveled to the heart of American farming country to stay with an old friend in Kentucky. It was winter and it felt like it might never end. We were made welcome in the white clapboard farmhouse that was full of books. We ate good simple food and talked about our families and our farms. But as hard as we tried to be cheerful, it felt as if we had stumbled into someone else’s grief. There was a sense of impending doom about the coming election results. This had once been a thriving landscape of small-and medium-sized farms. Now, it felt like a landscape littered with ghosts and relics. Read more.
Developments in Argentina regarding genetically modified (GM) wheat show that however determined governments are to boost GMOs in agriculture, the inherent weaknesses of the technology undermine their efforts. Although the Argentine government approved it for planting and the Brazilian government gave the nod for its import, the GM wheat is giving poor yields, around two-thirds of the average for non-GM wheat. Read more.
Starting January 1 of this year, the new GMO labeling rules went into effect. Sorry, we mean “bioengineered” labeling, the term the government and industry chose to obfuscate the issue and confuse consumers. Obfuscation and confusion were the chief goal of these new rules, as they allow companies to “label” their foods with a QR code that consumers need to scan to see if a food contains genetically modified ingredients. The rule represents a major capitulation to industry and a loss for consumers. What’s even more unfortunate is that GMOs are exactly the wrong direction for our health and the environment. Read more.
CRISPR-Cas9, the “genetic scissors”, creates new potential for curing diseases; but treatments must be reliable. In a new study, researchers have discovered that the method can give rise to unforeseen changes in DNA that can be inherited by the next generation. These scientists therefore urge caution and meticulous validation before using CRISPR-Cas9 for medical purposes. Read more.
A new scientific publication in the journal Nature shows that the occurrence of mutations (DNA damage) in plant genomes is not random and that certain areas of the genome are protected from mutations. The study also found that the occurrence and frequency of mutations in populations does not only depend on the evolutionary mechanism of random mutation and natural selection as it has traditionally been understood. Read more.