Biotech News

Genetically modified ‘shortcut’ boosts plant growth by 40%

July 9, 2019

Scientists in the US have engineered tobacco plants that can grow up to 40% larger than normal in field trials. The researchers say they have found a way of overcoming natural restrictions in the process of photosynthesis that limit crop productivity. They believe the method could be used to significantly boost yields from important crops…

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Bt eggplant, Bangladesh’s first GMO crop, controls ‘vicious’ fruit and shoot borer pest, boosts farmer profit sixfold

June 24, 2019

Eggplant, or brinjal (Solanum melongena), is a popularly consumed vegetable grown throughout Asia that is prone to vicious and sustained attack by the eggplant fruit and shoot borer (EFSB) (Leucinodes orbonalis) throughout the growing season. Yield losses in Bangladesh because of EFSB infestation have been reported as high as 86%. Farmers reduce crop losses by…

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Federal Office for the Environment Approves GM Barley Field Trial in Switzerland

June 21, 2019

The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) of Switzerland has given permission to the University of Zurich to conduct field trials of genetically modified (GM) barley under strict conditions on June 12, 2019. The FOEN approved the application and set out the measures that the university had to take to prevent GM material from spreading…

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Secretary Perdue Statement on President Trump’s Biotech EO

June 17, 2019

Council Bluffs, IA., June 11, 2019 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after President Donald J. Trump Signed the Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products Executive Order.  “Our current regulatory framework has impeded innovation instead of facilitating it. With this Executive Order, President Trump is once again putting America…

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Australian OGTR Approves GM Chickpea Field Trial

June 4, 2019

Australia’s Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has issued license DIR 166 to Queensland University of Technology for the limited and controlled release (field trial) of chickpea genetically modified (GM) for drought and other environmental stress tolerance. The field trial is proposed to take place from June 2019 until December 2024 in Walkamin, Tablelands…

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Consumers’ Attitude Towards GM Food is Based on Their Understanding of the Science Behind It

June 4, 2019

Psychologists and biologists from the University of Rochester, the University of Amsterdam, and Cardiff University conducted a study to answer the question “Would consumers eat genetically modified food if they understand the science behind it?” The result of their study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology says that the answer is “yes”. The researchers…

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Ghana farmer groups demand accelerated approval of GMO crops

May 15, 2019

Farmer groups in Ghana are asking the government to speed up the process of commercializing genetically modified (GM) crops as an alternative to pesticide use. They want Ghana’s Parliament and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to “heed the cry of farmers concerning difficulties we face with pest and diseases, and push for the availability…

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Nigeria Approves Two GMO Cotton Varieties to Increase Output

May 13, 2019

Nigeria approved two genetically modified varieties of cotton for use by the nation’s farmers to help boost supply to its textile industry and cut lint imports of as much as 115 billion naira ($319 million) a year, officials said. The strains were modified by the Institute of Agricultural Research at the Ahmadu Bello University in…

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Kenya Reconsidering GMO Crop Ban to Support Food Security

May 6, 2019

Kenya is reconsidering its 2012 import ban on genetically modified maize as more than 1 million of its citizens require urgent humanitarian food assistance due to prolonged drought. “In the next one or two months, we will have a decision about the future of that ban,’’ said Professor Hamadi Mboga, principal secretary in the country’s ministry of agriculture, which oversees agricultural…

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This scientist thinks she has the key to curb climate change: super plants

April 24, 2019

Dr Joanne Chory hopes that genetic modifications to enhance plants’ natural carbon-fixing traits could play a key role – but knows that time is short, for her and the planet. Professor Joanne Chory at the Salk Institute, where she leads her Ideal Plant project. Photograph: John Francis Peters If this were a film about humanity’s…

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