Scientist researching drought resistant wheat
According to NPR, scientists are researching ways to engineer wheat so it can thrive even when water is scarce. A drought impacting Russia this summer pushed wheat prices to their highest in years, underscoring the importance for a variety of wheat that can survive in droughts. In addition to wheat, scientists and researchers have already engineered drought-tolerant maize, and it could be sold commercially in just two years based on the regulatory process. Listen here.
Countries in Africa and Asia have much to gain economically from adopting GM crops
Biofortified posted a piece about a paper by Kym Anderson in New Biotechnology that shows that the potential economic benefits for those countries in Africa and Asia willing to adopt genetically modified (GM) crop varieties can be great. However, the countries would not gain economically under this model if they ban imports of GM crops. Read more.
Argentine Farmer writes that biotechnology is about human rights and eradicating hunger
Global Farmer-to-Farmer Roundtable participant Roberto Peiretti penned a piece about what he labels as “gene-ocide,” negatively portraying genetically modified crops without sound science. Roberto has always supported environmentally responsible agriculture and has committed to no-till agriculture for many years. He writes, “Biotechnology and its synergy with no-till agriculture have the potential to improve nutrition and feed a growing world by boosting agricultural productivity and profitability in a sustainable fashion. This is a synergy we need if we are going to succeed in doubling global agricultural production during the next thirty to fifty years.” Read more.
It’s that time of the week: The CBI Ag Biotech news round-up! Here’s what we’re reading this week:
Purdue University Researcher finds that introducing a yeast gene extends the shelf life of tomatoes
Avtar Handa, a professor of horticulture at Purdue University, found that adding a yeast gene to tomatoes increases production of a compound that slows aging and decay. Fully ripe tomatoes from the transgenic tomato plants studied lasted about eight days longer before showing signs of shriveling compared with the non-transgenic plants. This finding can have broad implications and help people have access to fresh fruits even without controlled environment storage. Learn more
Hawaii Crop Improvement Association’s annual meeting
The annual meeting of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (a CBI partner) brought together “more than 150 members, allies and stakeholders of Hawaii’s agriculture industry.” In addition to policymakers and local reporters, this year’s meeting featured Douglas Jones, Executive Director of Growers for Biotechnology, who gave the keynote address on Food, Fiber and Fuel for the Future: Embracing Biotechnology.
Loren Mochida of the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association also gave a speech at the meeting on the evolution of Hawaii’s Rainbow papaya (a biotech variety) and its potential to be imported into Japan. Read more and view photos from the annual meeting.
Many thanks to our friends Karl Haro von Mogel and Frank N. Foode (everyone’s favorite biotech buddy) of Biofortified fame for posting some great photos from our time at BIO 2010 in Chicago. We especially love and appreciate the photos featuring the CBI panel and CBI experts/panelists. View the photos.
CBI Managing Director Ariel Gruswitz poses with Frank N. Foode
Frank N. Foode makes friends (and a photo album) at BIO 2010
Thanks again to Karl and our favorite biotech buddy, Frank N. Foode!