Archive for September, 2022


Source: Genetic Literacy Project – 09 September 2022

This paper updates previous estimates for the global value of using genetically modified (GM) crop technology in agriculture at the farm level. … Over the period 1996 to 2020, the economic benefits have been significant with farm incomes for those using the technology having increased by $261.3 billion US dollars. This equates to an average farm income gain across all GM crops grown in this period of about $112/hectare.

Over the last 25 years, GM crop seed technology has helped many farmers to grow more food, feed, and fiber using fewer resources by reducing the damage caused by pests and better controlling weeds. The highest yield increases have occurred in developing countries and this has contributed to a more reliable and secure food supply base in these countries.


Source: Food Ingredients 1st – 09 September 2022

A British spin-off science company has been given the green light from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its GM purple tomato after a long-running varietal project. And, now this could pave the way for GM to continue research into increasing the health benefits of whole foods. Its goal is to find ways of commercializing its research into foods with enhanced healthy compounds for consumers.

The USDA approved the sale of Norfolk Plant Sciences (NPS) nutrition-dense purple tomato seeds for spring 2023.


Source: QUT News – 02 September 2022

Professor Dale and the Banana Biotechnology Program from the QUT Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy received the KCA Award for Best Industry Collaboration for work between Australia and Africa that will impact future health, food security and biosecurity.

The multi-million-dollar Golden Banana project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is now close to farmer release of a pro-vitamin A fortified banana that will deliver life-saving health benefits to millions of people in Africa.

The Tropical Race 4 (TR4) Program has developed a genetically modified Cavendish banana resistant to the devastating TR4 disease. Likely to be available for commercial production in 2024, the QCav-4 promises to protect the global Cavendish industry, worth up to US$25 billion annually.

GHANA - GM Cowpea Rollout

Source: Alliance for Science – 02 September 2022

The approval of genetically modified cowpea in Ghana is paving the way for agricultural advances and economic opportunities, researchers say. Ghana adopted its first biotech crop, the pod borer-resistant (PBR) cowpea, in June this year, making it the second country in the world to approve genetically modified cowpea for commercialization. It took researchers about nine years to achieve this feat.

Farmers, who are at the receiving end of the technology, have expressed excitement at the development and hope to have the PBR cowpea seeds in their hands soon. Fifty-six year old Emmanuel Attakorah, who farms a 10-acre cowpea field, expressed his joy at this development and asked that more education be given to sensitize them on best cultural practices to adopt in cultivating the product.

INT - CRISPR for Cassava Mosaic Virus

Source: Alliance for Science – 01 September 2022

Work has begun to possibly develop CRISPR cassava varieties that are resistant to the deadly cassava mosaic virus (CMD), after an international team of research scientists managed to identify a gene responsible for the resistance. The team, led by Wilhelm Gruissem, a professor of Plant Biotechnology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH Zurich), finally pinned down the gene responsible for what is known as the cassava mosaic disease 2 (CMD2) resistance in some cassava cultivars. 

USA - Gene-editing cotton

Source: AgDaily, 29 August 2022

According to a news release, Texas A&M University’s novel cotton-gene editing project will focus on enhancing cotton plant resistance to insect pests — paving a way for plant protection. Using gene-editing technology, the researchers are working to remove a characteristic to make plants more resistant to pests, marking a giant leap in new methodologies designed to protect plants from insects and other threats. 

The goal is to essentially silence genes in cotton that produce monoterpenes, chemicals that produce an odor pest insects home in on. By removing odors that pests associate with a good place to feed and reproduce, scientists believe they can reduce infestations, which will in turn reduce pesticide use and improve profitability.