In poor parts of the world, people may rely on a single staple crop to meet a substantial proportion of their energy requirements. Many denizens of Africa rely on cassava. The trouble with cassava, however, is that it is nutrient-poor. Partially as a result, iron and zinc deficiencies are common in Africa. Iron deficiency results in anemia, zinc deficiency in susceptibility to death by diarrhea, and each is also associated with impaired cognitive development. Breeding better varieties of cassava that absorb and store more of these nutrients is made difficult by a lack of genetic diversity. So, scientists have turned to biotechnology.
Archive for February, 2019
Source: Genetic Literacy Project
Genetically engineered (GE) crops producing insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) (mainly Cry proteins) have become a major control tactic for a number of key lepidopteran and coleopteran pests, mainly in maize, cotton, and soybean.…Over the past 20+ years, extensive experience and insight have been gained through laboratory and field-based studies of the non-target effects of crops producing Cry proteins. Overall, the vast majority of studies demonstrates that the insecticidal proteins deployed today cause no unintended adverse effects to natural enemies.
Source: The Land
Fake news from powerful lobbies is thwarting the urgent access producers need to gene technologies to adapt to drought, flood and the myriad of other challenges climate change is throwing forward. This was the message delivered at a workshop of global economists and researchers dealing with agricultural and food policy, held in Melbourne. Dr Alison Van Eenennaam, from the University of California, said fear mongering around gene technologies was a far larger hindrance to the take-up of critical farming innovation than slow producer adoption.
Source: Farm Online
A move by the Greens in Western Australia to bring in legislation protecting farmers in the wake of contamination by GM crops, is unlikely to progress. A parliamentary inquiry in WA found the current mechanisms in place to deal with compensation claims for farmers who believe they have suffered economic loss caused by contamination by genetically modified material are adequate.