Archive for January, 2024

USA - FDA Hindered GM Animal Research

Source: Genetic Literacy Project

The glacial pace of the U.S. FDA’s approval process for genetically engineered food animals has inhibited innovation for decades. It wasn’t until 2021 that the first of them — the AquAdvantage Atlantic salmon tweaked using transgenic engineering (which makes it a “GMO”) to grow twice as quickly as the unaltered variety — finally went on sale in the US. The FDA review of the fish took more than 20 years. (Compare that to the five-month review of human insulin, the first biopharmaceutical, which was approved in 1982.)

INT - Fast-Growing GM Cow Cells and Cultured Meat

Source: New Scientist 

Researchers have engineered cows’ muscle cells that can multiply without the assistance of an expensive and energy-intensive growth-boosting substance. If scaled up, they are optimistic this could slash the production costs of lab-grown meat, but they stress that it is still early days. Lab-grown, or cultivated, meat can be produced from animal cells. Approved for sale in countries such as the US and the Netherlands, it has been touted as a more ethical and sustainable substitute to conventional meat, by avoiding the slaughter of animals and using fewer resources, such as water. But the current, small-scale methods of producing lab-grown meat have still proven to be extremely energy intensive and expensive.

NIGERIA - Game-Changing GM Maize Varieties Approved

Source: Science Nigeria

In a groundbreaking move, the Federal Government of Nigeria has given the green light for the commercial release of (GM) maize varieties designed to combat insect infestations and thrive in drought conditions. These transformative maize varieties, collectively known as ‘TELA’ maize, received approval on January 11, 2024.

The four approved varieties, SAMMAZ 72T, SAMMAZ 73T, SAMMAZ 74T and SAMMAZ 75T, are heralded for their drought tolerance and resistance to stem-borers and fall armyworm, offering a yield advantage of up to 10 tonnes per hectare under optimal agronomic practices.