Archive for March, 2017


Anderson: plenty of fake news in agriculture

Source: FarmOnline – 25 February 2017

Fake news is an ever-present danger for Australian agriculture that hinders access to scientifically approved Genetically Modified wheat varieties, while prompting emotive debates like the current one on energy affordability. That’s the view of new Crawford Fund Chairman and former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson in calling for less emotion and great scientific focus, in such critical policy debates…Mr Anderson is also co-patron of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia and said despite GM wheat varieties being foreshadowed for commercialisation in seven to 10 years, that time-frame was closing but progress had “stalled”, despite advanced science.


Organic industry needs to re-evaluate zero tolerance of genetically modified crops: WA Farmers group

Source: WA Country Hour (ABC) – 24 February 2017

One of Western Australia’s peak industry bodies says the organic industry in Australia needs to change its zero tolerance standard to the presence of genetically modified (GM) organisms in organic crops. Flood waters have swept through parts of WA’s grain growing region, sparking concern from some certified organic growers that contamination via flood waters may occur. WA Farmers grains section president Duncan Young said the organic industry in Australia should look to GM tolerance standards in other countries. “I think the real issue is the fact that the organic industry needs to re-evaluate their zero status for GM and probably take a leaf out of the book of other countries around the world with their organic industries,” he said.


British scientists create GM chickens that can lay eggs from different breeds

Source: The Mirror (UK). 18 February 2017

British scientists have genetically modified chickens so they can lay eggs from different breeds. The aim is to preserve rare chicken breeds that may be resistant to global infections like bird flu in the future or have highly desirable features such as excellent meat quality. Edinburgh University experts revealed the breakthrough at the world’s biggest science conference in Boston. They used gene editing technology to knock out part of a gene called DDX4 in chickens which is vital for bird fertility. The surrogate chickens are the first gene-edited birds to be produced in Europe, and this is the first time in the world that chickens have been genetically modified to preserve rare breeds.