Mexican Ag Ministry approves planting of GM corn for economic benefits
According to Reuters, Mexico’s Agriculture Ministry approved the country’s first pilot program for planting genetically modified (GM) corn because it will help the agriculture economy. “It is necessary to advance the use of biotechnology to reduce imports and promote national production,” the ministry statement said. Farmers in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, where the pilot program will take place, say GM corn will benefit them because it is “higher yielding and more disease resistant.” Read more.
Ugandan scientists testing GM bananas with potential to resist crop disease
Scientists in Uganda believe that genetically modified bananas could help overcome a disease that is devastating the country’s staple food crop, The Guardian reports. The article says that, “laboratory tests on the genetically modified bananas have been highly promising” with six out of eight strains of the GM bananas proving to be 100% resistant to the disease that has threatened the livelihoods of millions of farmers.
According to Dr. Leena Tripathi, a plant biotechnologist at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), “The beauty of the genetic engineering is that you can be very precise,” Read more.
Bangladeshi farmers adopting GM rice for nutritional benefits
According to the United Nations news service, scientists from the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute are testing zinc-rich rice varieties with the goal of mass producing a GM crop within the next five years. Rice, the staple crop of Bangladesh, naturally contains low levels of iron, so farmers in field trials are producing GM rice with high zinc content “to control abnormalities like stunting, poor immune response and pregnancy complications” which can result from too little iron. Read more.