Biotech News

 
Sep 8, 2017
Innate spuds gaining foreign-market approval

Simplot Plant Sciences has been receiving approval for its Innate line of genetically modified potatoes in foreign markets.

 
Sep 8, 2017
Gene-edited camelina cleared by USDA

The USDA has determined that a camelina variety that’s gene-edited to increased oil content doesn’t fall under its regulatory jurisdiction.

 
Sep 8, 2017
Golden bananas boost vitamin A levels

With approximately 650,000–750,000 children worldwide dying from vitamin A deficiency, Professor James Dale from the Queensland University of Technology has been researching a way to enhance pro-vitamin A in bananas.

 
Aug 30, 2017
40 Years Ago, GMO Insulin Was Controversial Also

It may seem like olden days to Millennials, but the late 1970s were a lot like today. America was divided due to an unpopular President, gas was expensive, the movie industry was at death's door...and genetic engineering was a big concern.

 
Aug 17, 2017
Fear and regulatory costs dogging genetically engineered crops

Genome editing, has taken crop plant breeding to “an entirely new level,” says Dr. Adrianne Massey. But "a totally dysfunctional regulatory system" and activist opposition continue as barriers to progress.

 
Aug 17, 2017
Innate® Second Generation Potato Receives Canadian Government Clearance

Health Canada conducted a comprehensive safety assessment and approved the use of Innate® second generation potatoes for food.

 
Aug 16, 2017
Sugar companies to launch GMO education campaign

Two of the nation’s sugar companies will launch a $4 million online campaign this fall aimed at educating consumers about GMO crops and changing their perceptions of the technology.

 
Aug 16, 2017
Brazil gives GM sugarcane a go

Brazil, the world’s largest sugarcane producer, recently approved the commercial use of genetically modified sugarcane.

 
Aug 16, 2017
Debunking the myths about GM crops

GMO Answers – backed by The Council for Biotechnology – is an online platform where people can find out more about an issue which is often misunderstood.

 
Jul 24, 2017
The Non-GMO Project: Creating fake news at the grocery store

Going to the grocery store has become a parallel experience to reading political opinions online — half truths, emotional visuals and the ability to exist in an echo chamber only interacting with others just like you. This means true transparency, science and understanding is being eliminated from the consumer experience.

I am increasingly finding items that are labeled "Non-GMO Project Verified." It seems as if the "orange butterfly logo" has made its way to products on every aisle of the grocery store. I've encountered the logo on tomatoes, orange juice, blueberries, coffee products and even water. But there are no GM (genetically modified) tomatoes, orange juice, blueberries, coffee beans or water. The 10 GM crops that are or soon will be commercially available in the U.S. include squash, cotton, soybeans, sweet and field corn, papaya, alfalfa, sugar beets, canola, potatoes and apples.

The Non-GMO Project isn't telling consumers that many of the products labeled "Non-GMO Project Verified" don't even have a GM derived ingredient. Instead, the group is using its brand to fuel a business model that is based on fear and lack of information. That's the opposite of transparency.

To date, more than 43,000 products bear the Non-GMO Project Verified seal, which according to the organization is "North America's most trusted seal for GMO avoidance." On that same website, the Non-GMO Project also states pretty bluntly the following: "There is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs." This is fake news at its best.

In complete contrast, all of the following organizations have said GMOs are safe: The World Health Organization, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the American Medical Association, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, The National Academy of Sciences, The European Commission, The French Academy of Science and the Union of German Academics of Sciences and Humanities as well as 107 Nobel Laureates, among others.

That seems like a scientific consensus of the world's most respected organizations. Why would the Non-GMO Project not include that information so consumers can make up their own minds on scientific consensus? Could it be because it wants to sell more of its logo to food companies catering to scared and confused consumers?

Sharing "facts" that leave out parts of the story is a classic tactic for political or financial gain. The Non-GMO Project verification effort is simply a business venture that is creating consumer confusion in the name of transparency. Unfortunately, it is creating an environment that is based on inaccurate information and doesn't take into account the benefits of biotechnology.

Personally this is painful for me because I represent America's farmers and ranchers — many of whom choose to grow GM crops because they recognize and have experienced the environmental and sustainability benefits first hand on their own farms. And by villainizing these seeds, the symbol telling people GMOs are not safe attacks farmers and scientists who dedicate their lives to bring healthy choices to Americans.

And when I see food companies and even agriculture companies cave to the pressure to be "Non-GMO" certified even when they know that symbol is not based on science or critical thinking but on emotional manipulation, my heart breaks a little.

Let's think twice about purchasing items simply based on the "marketing speak," and instead support real transparency so that consumers can make educated choices about what they're feeding themselves and their families.

Editor’s note: Krotz is the CEO of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.
This piece first appeared on Agri-Pulse Communications.

 
Jul 24, 2017
The Non-GMO Project: Creating fake news at the grocery store

Going to the grocery store has become a parallel experience to reading political opinions online — half truths, emotional visuals and the ability to exist in an echo chamber only interacting with others just like you. This means true transparency, science and understanding is being eliminated from the consumer experience.

I am increasingly finding items that are labeled "Non-GMO Project Verified." It seems as if the "orange butterfly logo" has made its way to products on every aisle of the grocery store. I've encountered the logo on tomatoes, orange juice, blueberries, coffee products and even water. But there are no GM (genetically modified) tomatoes, orange juice, blueberries, coffee beans or water. The 10 GM crops that are or soon will be commercially available in the U.S. include squash, cotton, soybeans, sweet and field corn, papaya, alfalfa, sugar beets, canola, potatoes and apples.

The Non-GMO Project isn't telling consumers that many of the products labeled "Non-GMO Project Verified" don't even have a GM derived ingredient. Instead, the group is using its brand to fuel a business model that is based on fear and lack of information. That's the opposite of transparency.

To date, more than 43,000 products bear the Non-GMO Project Verified seal, which according to the organization is "North America's most trusted seal for GMO avoidance." On that same website, the Non-GMO Project also states pretty bluntly the following: "There is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs." This is fake news at its best.

In complete contrast, all of the following organizations have said GMOs are safe: The World Health Organization, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the American Medical Association, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, The National Academy of Sciences, The European Commission, The French Academy of Science and the Union of German Academics of Sciences and Humanities as well as 107 Nobel Laureates, among others.
That seems like a scientific consensus of the world's most respected organizations. Why would the Non-GMO Project not include that information so consumers can make up their own minds on scientific consensus? Could it be because it wants to sell more of its logo to food companies catering to scared and confused consumers?

Sharing "facts" that leave out parts of the story is a classic tactic for political or financial gain. The Non-GMO Project verification effort is simply a business venture that is creating consumer confusion in the name of transparency. Unfortunately, it is creating an environment that is based on inaccurate information and doesn't take into account the benefits of biotechnology.
Personally this is painful for me because I represent America's farmers and ranchers — many of whom choose to grow GM crops because they recognize and have experienced the environmental and sustainability benefits first hand on their own farms. And by villainizing these seeds, the symbol telling people GMOs are not safe attacks farmers and scientists who dedicate their lives to bring healthy choices to Americans.
And when I see food companies and even agriculture companies cave to the pressure to be "Non-GMO" certified even when they know that symbol is not based on science or critical thinking but on emotional manipulation, my heart breaks a little.
Let's think twice about purchasing items simply based on the "marketing speak," and instead support real transparency so that consumers can make educated choices about what they're feeding themselves and their families.
Editor’s note: Krotz is the CEO of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. This piece first appeared on Agri-Pulse

 
Jun 28, 2017
GMO Cultivation Bans in Local Hands is Wrong, but That’s How It’s Done

Genetic engineering has the ability to produce so many positive attributes for society, so why would anyone ban their use, particularly in small areas like indi­vidual counties and cities? The single word answer is politics.

 
Jun 16, 2017
Spies In The Field: As Farming Goes High-Tech, Espionage Threat Grows

The theft of agricultural trade secrets is a growing problem, according to the FBI.

 
Jun 12, 2017
Brazil approves world's first commercial GM sugarcane: developer CTC

Brazil has approved commercial use of a genetically modified sugarcane, setting a milestone for the country's highly competitive sugar industry.

 
Jun 7, 2017
Verify: Are GMOs foods safe?

GMO in your food is hugely controversial with Americans.

 
Jun 5, 2017
U.S. Testing Begins on Genetically Modified Ryegrass Developed in New Zealand

Genetically modified ryegrass developed to reduce methane emissions and nitrate discharges by livestock is being tested in the United States, reports NZ Farmer.

 
Jun 5, 2017
U.S.: Arctic Apple set for commercial launch following successful trials

The company behind the non-browning Arctic Apple is gearing up for its commercial launch with U.S. retailers this fall, following the recent completion of successful market testing.

 
May 25, 2017
UK approves field trial of GM potatoes resistant to blight and nematode

The field trials are part of TSL’s Potato Partnership Project to develop a Maris Piper potato that is blight and nematode resistant, bruises less and produces less acrylamide when cooked at high temperatures.

 
May 25, 2017
Researchers able to reverse resistance of pink bollworm to Bt cotton

Collaborative effort by researchers in China and the University of Arizona find unique method to reverse resistance of pink bollworm to Bt cotton. Implications exist for transgenic corn and soybeans as well.

 
May 1, 2017
Advancements in agriculture, good for people and the planet

Now more than ever we need to embrace the power of science to help us battle the challenges related to climate change.