As the latest indication of increasing global support for science-based agricultural solutions, a landmark declaration by governments from 24 African countries officially endorsed the use of biotechnology to help Africa address food security and poverty.
This year, policymakers and scientists from several African countries, including Ghana and Kenya, have made strides in agricultural biotechnology through local research and hunger-fighting initiatives. However, the significant endorsement made through a joint statement signed by all delegates at the 2nd Annual Dialogue of Ministers of Agriculture, Science and Technology was one of the strongest demonstrations to date of broad support across Africa.
READ MORE »
Biotech sweet corn is safe, agriculture and biotechnology experts Dr. Bruce Chassy, Dr. Wayne Parrott and Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam said in response to questions raised recently in The Huffington Post.
“There is an abundance of scientific evidence and published research, as well as more than 15 years of experience of GE crops, that provide strong evidence of their safety,” said Dr. Chassy, professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in an interview with Best Food Facts. “There is no credible scientific evidence that they cause allergies or that they would have any long-term health effects.” READ MORE »
Meeting the urgent need for food for a growing global population will require the use of all types of plant breeding, including biotechnology, according to an editorial in the journal Nature Biotechnology.
“Even more importantly, it will necessitate a reemphasis on innovation, greater diversification of the agrochemical and agbiotech industry, streamlining and harmonization of regulatory oversight, and an end to the political grandstanding that has characterized the agbiotech debate so far,” said the article in a publication of Nature, one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world.
Biotechnology is safe and should be fully deployed, the editorial states.
“There is no scientific uncertainty about whether crops generated via transgenesis are riskier than conventionally produced varieties,” it says. “They simply are not! And thus regulatory oversight should be reined in, not ramped up.” Read more.
China aims to increase investment in agricultural innovation
Reuters reported on China’s announcement Wednesday that it was looking to boost agricultural innovation in an effort to increase food output.
Technological innovation in the agricultural sector, which includes implementation of a program promoting the application of genetically modified (GM) technology, would “improve land yield, resource efficiency and labor productivity,” the official Xinhua news agency said. Read more
USAID grant awarded for ag biotech research in Bangladesh and Indonesia
According to The Sacramento Bee , the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a grant to develop salt-tolerant rice and measure greenhouse gas emissions from conventional rice fields in Bangladesh and nitrogen-use-efficient crops in Indonesia.
Through biotechnology methods, researchers will help each country to increase crop yields and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read more
WSJ op-ed: Nestle’s Chairman says biotech is essential for global food security
In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, chairman of Nestlé Peter Brabeck-Letmathe says Europe’s refusal to use biotechnology “has halted the multi-decade rise in agricultural productivity that has allowed us, so far, to feed more mouths than many people believed was possible.” Read more.
Scientists point out EPA proposed regulatory burdens are obstacle to innovation
The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB Journal) published an article by Dr. Nina Fedoroff and Dr. Bruce Chassy which says the EPA’s proposal to expand regulatory burdens would create obstacles to scientific innovation.
“A further increase in the regulatory burden would impose steep barriers to scientific innovation and product development across all sectors of our economy and would not only fail to enhance safety, but would be likely to prolong reliance on less safe and obsolete practices.” Read more.
Prominent food industry expert condemns attacks on GM papayas in Hawaii
Perishable Pundit, an online publication by the prominent food industry author and news commentator Jim Prevor, calls the devastation caused by attacks on papayas in Hawaii “unacceptable.” His article features an interview with Delan Perry from the Hawaii Papaya Association, who points out the need for GM papaya varieties to fight plant disease. Read more.