Genetically Modified

Opinion: GM Cotton a False Promise for Africa

Genetically modified (GM) cotton has been produced globally for almost two decades, yet to date only three African countries have grown GM cotton on a commercial basis – South Africa, Burkina Faso and Sudan.

Panama Regulators Could Slow U.S. Approval of GM Salmon

Officials in Panama have fined the local facility of a U.S. biotechnology company for a series of permitting and regulatory failures around a pioneering attempt to create genetically modified salmon.

Argentine Activists Win First Round Against Monsanto Plant

Residents of a town in Argentina have won the first victory in their fight against biotech giant Monsanto, but they are still at battle stations, aware that winning the war is still a long way off.

Mexico – Ground Zero in the Fight for the Future of Maize

In the 2011 action-thriller "Unknown", scientists are persecuted by the biotech industry because they plan the open release of a drought- and pest-resistant strain of maize that could help eradicate world hunger.

U.S. Proposal Would Require Labelling on Genetically Modified Foods

A decades-long push to require the labelling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients in the United States received a significant boost Wednesday, when bipartisan bills on the issue were simultaneously proposed in the House and Senate.

Spain Leads EU in GM Crops, but No One Knows Where They Are

Spain has more large-scale plantations of genetically modified seeds than any other country in the European Union (EU).

Secretive U.S. Amendment Would Weaken Biotech Oversight

Food safety advocates, environmentalists and health professionals here are engaging in a fervent last-minute campaign to highlight a controversial legislative amendment they say would gut the ability of both the judiciary and the federal government to regulate genetically modified agricultural products.

India Puts GM Food Crops Under Microscope

Environmental activists are cautiously optimistic that a call by a court-appointed technical committee for a ten-year moratorium on open field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops will shelve plans to introduce bio-engineered foods in this largely agricultural country.

Renee Sharp

Q&A: Health Impacts of Genetically Modified Foods Still Unknown

In 1994, genetically modified produce, in the form of tomatoes, first appeared in grocery stores in the United States. Numerous other types of produce have been genetically modified since, and consuming them has become common practise. But because the phenomenon is so recent, the long-term effects of eating such foods remain unknown.

A recent study found that "zero percent" of federal funding of synthetic biology was going into risk assessment. Credit: Horia Varlan/CC By 2.0

In New U.S. “Bioeconomy”, Industry Trumps Environment

The White House on Thursday announced the formulation of the National Bioeconomy Blueprint, aimed at shoring up the U.S. commitment to bioscience-related research.

Mexican Seeds, the New Spoils for Food Corporations

Biodiversity and small and medium farms are threatened in Mexico by the looming approval of a reform of the law on plant varieties that will extend patent rights over seeds, activists and experts warn.

María Solís grows several different colours of native corn.  Credit: Emilio Godoy/IPS

Mexico’s Corn Festivals – a Haven from Transgenic Crops

Catalina Salvador, an 87-year-old peasant farmer who grows pumpkins, beans, and above all corn on her small plot of land, was one of the opponents of transgenic crops who took part in the traditional corn festival in San Juan Ixtenco in the central Mexican state of Tlaxcala.

Argentina Responds to Climate Challenge with Transgenic Seeds

Researchers in Argentina have isolated a sunflower gene and implanted it into corn, wheat and soybean seeds to make them more resistant to drought and soil salinity, problems increasingly faced by this South American agricultural powerhouse as a result of global warming.

Studies show that people in rural areas in Argentina face risks from glyphosate spraying. Credit: Courtesy of Estudios y Proyectos

ARGENTINA: Poison from the Sky

Argentina's soy boom has been a major source of foreign exchange. But the other side of the coin is the toxic effects among the rural population, from spraying agrochemicals.

MEXICO: Transgenic Cotton Harbours Hidden Dangers

Wild cotton in Mexico has been contaminated with genetically modified material, posing a risk to biodiversity, experts say.

BRAZIL: Homegrown GM Bean Won’t Fight Hunger, Critics Say

Critics complain that a genetically modified bean developed in Brazil, resistant to one of the country's most damaging agricultural pests, was approved without enough debate or guarantees that the crop will not affect human health or the environment.

From seven percent of soybean acres and one percent of corn in 1996, GE acreage in the U.S. is now 94 percent of soybean and 88 percent of corn. Credit: Public domain

U.S.: Battle Escalates Against Genetically Modified Crops

Home to a fast-growing network of farmers' markets, cooperatives and organic farms, but also the breeding ground for mammoth for-profit corporations that now hold patents to over 50 percent of the world's seeds, the United States is weathering a battle between Big Agro and a ripening movement for food justice and security.

Concerns Loom over Implications of Enhancement Technology

Imagine a class of 24 children, three of whom take performance enhancing medicines that increase their chances of scoring high on standardized tests. Now quadruple that number, with one half of the pupils popping pills and the other pushing their pencils med free.

MEXICO: Traditional Maize Can Cope with Climate Change*

Maize, Mexico's staple food as well as a symbol, has the potential to adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects without any need for genetically modified seeds, according to agricultural scientists.

ENVIRONMENT-CHILE: Native Seeds in Danger of Being Monopolised

Fear is growing among environmental and indigenous organisations in Chile over the possible appropriation of native seeds by foreign companies, opening the doors to transgenic crops and their negative impact on biodiversity.

KENYA: Legal Lacuna While Biotechnology Is Sneaked in

Farming with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is becoming more widespread in Kenya due the promotion of biotechnology through clever schemes, exacerbated by the lack of a legal framework for the commercialisation of these controversial products.

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