|Source: Wall Street Journal – 19 June 2019|
A blight-tolerant American chestnut tree is the latest example of what the science community has begun to call a GRO—a genetically rescued organism. In the past century approximately four billion chestnut trees have been lost in the U.S. due to blight that spread when the Cryphonectria parasitica fungus arrived with chestnut trees imported from Asia. A once-dominant hardwood species is now rare.
Archive for June, 2019
|Source: TV News Now (NZ) – 24 June 2019|
There’s growing concern New Zealand will fall behind other countries unless the Government updates genetic modification laws. The Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act hasn’t been changed since 1998. Plant and Food Research chief scientist Richard Newcomb is the latest to join the call for a public information campaign and discussion on gene editing, a technology that is more precise than previous genetic modification and doesn’t require the insertion of foreign DNA.
Source: ABC News, Rural – 19 June 2019
Scientists are exploring taking crops out of the field and growing them in warehouses to develop new varieties capable of feeding 10 billion people by 2050.
This research from The University of Queensland was featured in the journal Nature Biotechnology on 17 June 2019.
07 June 2019. Source: Reuters
The US is planning to revise its regulations on importing, transporting and releasing GMOs, it told the World Trade Organization in a filing published on Friday. The proposal from the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the first comprehensive revision of the regulations since they were established in 1987, aims to reduce the regulatory burden to reflect advances in genetic engineering and better understanding of plant pest risks, it said.
05 June 2019. Source: The Leadership Newspaper (Nigeria)
Dr Issoufou Kollo Abdourhamane, the project manager of African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) is interviewed on the health and environmental impact of GM crops and the economic importance of Pod-Borer Resistant (PBR) cowpea. The PBR Cowpea Project is a public private partnership coordinated by AATF to promote technological interventions that will optimise cowpea productivity and utilization in Sub-Saharan Africa.
30 May 2019. Source: ISAAA
A healthy agricultural production system cannot exist without healthy soils. Aside from being the habitat of diverse organisms that contribute to carbon sequestration, the soil plays a vital role in food production as well as in climate change mitigation. With biotech products such as herbicide tolerant crops, conservation practices have been used not just to the farmers’ advantage, but also to preserve soil health.
21 May 2019. Source: Healthcare IT
The country’s regulations on gene technology are being updated to clarify the regulatory status of new genome editing techniques and provide additional benefits to cancer patients and the medical research community. The amendments will make it quicker and easier for medical researchers to do early proof of concept work and progress to clinical trials with patients, including work to identify genes involved in diseases. The regulation amendments had been made on behalf of the Legislative and Governance Forum on Gene Technology to make the legal position of genome editing clearer.
14 May 2019. Source: YouTube via Genetic Literacy Project.
Many Americans know the sad tale of how the American chestnut tree was driven almost to extinction in the 20th century. More important, chestnuts were food. An old rule of thumb was that the nuts from a single big chestnut tree could feed a family of four for a year. …The American Chestnut Foundation has been trying to revive the species since 1983 and plant scientists at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science & Forestry, in Syracuse, have used genetic engineering to splice a blight-resistance gene into American chestnut DNA. The result – a highly resistant American chestnut with many fewer “foreign” genes than the Chinese-American hybrids. These plants are intended to be released into forests as wild trees, so of course people want them to be as “natural” as possible. But agricultural chestnuts, meant to be grown in orchards, are another matter.
16 May 2019. Source: Big Ideas, ABC Radio National
Genetic changes can make food crops more resistant to drought, pests and disease but some consumers will go out of their way to avoid genetically modified produce.Despite reassurance from GM scientists, the debate about GM food goes on. Tasmania has a moratorium on GM crops which is up for review in November. A scientist, a lawyer and an environmental advocate debate the pros and cons of GM agriculture.