GMO news related to the United States

23.09.2021 |

Genetic Engineering of Major Crops: the Most Recent Depressing Episode

In May this year, a Research Entomologist with the USDA contacted me and shared this message:

I remember your full-page ad in the New Yorker several years ago when you predicted the disaster with dicamba-resistant transgenic soybeans. And guess what, it came true. And more to come: https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/crops/article/2021/04/28/bayers-future-five-way-herbicide

He was highlighting that the next Bayer-Monsanto GMO crop in the regulatory pipeline to be approved is now “stacked” with five different herbicide-tolerant traits to deal with the rise of “superweeds” that are increasingly herbicide resistant. My ad he was referring to was an advertorial I had written in response to a clueless pro-GMO puff piece in the New Yorker in 2014.

18.09.2021 |

Crispr: Bad News For Gene Editing

Summary

New data concerning chromothripsis may affect the long-term outlook of companies such as Crispr Therapeutics.

The long-term impact on health of gene editing may not be known until around 2040.

Given the uncertain outlook, investors may be wise to re-evaluate their positions in companies employing DNA double strand breaks to edit the genome.

07.09.2021 |

Genetically Engineered Trees: No Solution to Climate Change

Download the statement in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French

“Genetically engineered trees are not a climate solution. They are a dangerous distraction, and a threat to forests and communities that will worsen the climate crisis rather than fix it.”

As concern about the climate crisis intensifies, so does rhetoric surrounding the role of forests, trees and carbon storage in climate mitigation. The science is clear that halting destruction of forests, which includes respecting the territorial rights of communities and peoples who depend on forests, is among the most effective, proven, and available means of removing carbon from the atmosphere, and that undisturbed forests with diverse species, rich intact soils and deadwood store far more carbon than industrial tree plantations.

02.09.2021 |

Early Warning of Resistance to Bt Toxin Vip3Aa in Helicoverpa zea

Abstract

Evolution of resistance by pests can reduce the benefits of crops genetically engineered to produce insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Because of the widespread resistance of Helicoverpa zea to crystalline (Cry) Bt toxins in the United States, the vegetative insecticidal protein Vip3Aa is the only Bt toxin produced by Bt corn and cotton that remains effective against some populations of this polyphagous lepidopteran pest. Here we evaluated H. zea resistance to Vip3Aa using diet bioassays to test 42,218 larvae from three lab strains and 71 strains derived from the field during 2016 to 2020 in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.

01.09.2021 |

What Walter Isaacson’s Book Gets Wrong About Gene Editing

REVIEW OF

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

The Code Breaker contains 481 pages of Oscar-level cinematic prose, providing a whistle-stop tour of how Jennifer Doudna, a biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley, and a large supporting cast discovered and developed the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR—an acronym for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. These repeating DNA features were found to be part of the defense system that bacteria have evolved over their billions of years of warfare with viruses. Enzymes associated with CRISPR sequences cut up attacking viral DNA and insert a section of it into the bacteria’s own genome in order to recognize it in the future. Doudna and her colleagues’ innovation was to configure and use this viral “mugshot” system to target and insert specific genetic sequences, creating a flexible DNA cut-and-paste tool.

17.08.2021 |

URGENT ACTION ALERT: Tell USDA NO GE trees in our forests!

The USDA has opened up a second public comment period to seek input for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) they plan to prepare on whether or not to approve the GE American chestnut.

We need to respond in force. The pro-GE tree side is mobilizing their base to submit comments promoting GE trees. We must remind the USDA that people across the world oppose GE trees and will not allow them to be planted in our forests.

06.08.2021 |

Safety concerns raised over Impossible Burger GMO fake meat ingredient

Soy leghemoglobin does not have a history of safe use in food

Impossible Foods, the US-based fake meat maker that uses genetically engineered ingredients, has already managed to steer its fake meat Impossible Burger products past regulators in several countries, most notably the US and Canada, though not without challenge.

And they have other countries in their sights, including Australia and New Zealand, where they hope to have a product on the market within the next two years.

26.07.2021 |

Next-Gen Herbicide Combinations

The next generation of herbicide formulations sold widely throughout the Heartland will include multiple active ingredients and will be paired with specially-bred GMO crops. Glyphosate-based herbicides are used on nearly all conventional GMO corn, soybean, and cotton seeds, in various combinations with the following herbicides:

Glufosinate herbicides (Bayer’s Liberty)

Dicamba herbicides (Monsanto/Bayer’s Xtendimax, BASF’s Engenia, DuPoint’s FeXapan)

2,4-D herbicides such as Dow AgroSciences Enlist Duo and Corteva’s Frontline

23.07.2021 |

Hijacking food systems: technofix takeover at the FSS

The wrong kind of Food Systems Summit

Our latest communiqué looks at how the Food Systems Summit (FSS) planned for the fall of 2021 is not about changing food systems, but about spinning a story that props up and expands the industrial food chain at the expense of other food systems. The FSS’s proponents argue that the “food system” is broken, that population growth and climate change mean that we will not be able to feed everyone, and that only new technological developments can save us. But this is a story that has been carefully constructed by those who stand to profit from it – it is intended to enable the expansion of the corporate-controlled industrial form of food production.

21.07.2021 |

GMO purple tomato takes centre stage in deregulation push

New York Times Magazine publishes false and misleading statements in pro-GMO fairytale. Report: Claire Robinson and Jonathan Matthews

For those who wondered whatever happened to Cathie Martin's GM purple "anti-cancer" tomatoes that were hyped to the skies more than a decade ago, they're back – and taking centre stage in an article published in the New York Times Magazine, titled Learning to love GMOs and with the subhead, "Overblown fears have turned the public against genetically modified food. But the potential benefits have never been greater".

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