GMO news related to the United States

25.11.2006 |

Wheat takes a walk on the wild side

Scientists have found a way to boost wheat's nutrient content by reintroducing a gene that was 'lost' over the years as the wild plant was domesticated. [...] The wheat varieties bred by the scientists are not genetically modified, which could help them become accepted commercially, they say. "We didn't do it by genetic modification. The normal wheat crosses perfectly well with the wild wheat. So we just crossed it after normal breeding," Dubcovsky says.

22.11.2006 |

U.S. hopeful on Codex Adventitious presence proposal

U.S. officials are hopeful that the Codex ad hoc Task Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology will approve a revised proposal for new work on low-level (adventitious) presence of unapproved transgenic material in food, when the task force meets next week in Chiba, Japan.

22.11.2006 |

FDA cloning report draft coming soon

The draft may come before the end of the year, and is expected to conclude that food from cloned animals is safe for consumption. An FDA risk assessment draft on the subject of safety of food from cloned animals is expected as soon as December. "We understand that the conclusion will be that foods from livestock clones and their offspring are as safe as foods from animals raised conventionally," says Dr. Barb Glenn, Managing Director of Animal Biotechnology, Food & Agriculture Section, BIO.

22.11.2006 |

GM Rice: Bayer blames God and farmers

In a 30-page response Bayer Crops Science offers the first clue to how the company plans to defend itself against the 15 class-action lawsuits filed by farmers, who allege that they stand to lose millions of dollars because of the contamination. Denying any culpability, the Bayer response variously blames the escape of its gene-altered variety of long-grain race, LL601, on "unavoidable circumstances which could not have been prevented by anyone"; "an act of God"; and farmers' "own negligence, carelessness, and/or comparative fault."

Meanwhile, in an effort to "purge" rice seeds from Bayers contamination, the Arkansas Rice board has banned the rice variety "Chernier" from planting in 2007.

22.11.2006 |

Firm blames farmers, 'Act of God' for rice contamination

The company that created the experimental variety of genetically engineered rice found this summer to have contaminated the U.S. rice supply contends that rice farmers and an "act of God" are to blame for the inadvertent release of the unapproved crop. Those are among the assertions by Bayer CropScience of Research Triangle Park, N.C., in response to a class-action lawsuit filed by hundreds of farmers in Arkansas and Missouri.

20.11.2006 |

Genetic engineering no magic bullet for Africa's hunger

The Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently announced their joint $150 million Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa for the continent's 180 million impoverished farmers who - they claim - were bypassed by the Green Revolution. What? For 25 years, the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research - the entity that brings together the key Green Revolution institutions - invested 40 percent to 45 percent of its $350 million-a-year budget in Africa. If these public funds were not invested in a Green Revolution, then where were they spent? If they were spent on the Green Revolution, then why does Africa need another one? Either the Green Revolution's institutions don't work, or the Green Revolution itself doesn't work - or both. The Green Revolution did not "bypass" Africa. It failed.

20.11.2006 |

GM cottonseeds could feed world’s starving millions

SCIENTISTS have genetically modified the cotton plant’s naturally toxic seeds to turn them into a potential food source for millions of people.

Researchers have found a way of reducing gossypol, a powerful toxin in the seeds, to a negligible level that allows them to be consumed by humans. At present they are thrown away or fed to cows.

20.11.2006 |

In a regular pilgrimage, Slow Food members follow the path toward ethical eating to Turin

TURIN, Italy -- For Slow Food enthusiasts every two years, all roads lead to this Piedmont city. [...] "We learned Europe is 80 percent non-GMO, Poland entirely GMO-free," said Barb Kline, referring to "genetically modified organisms" -- plants or animals whose DNA has been altered by corporations to create desirable traits by adding the DNA of other plants or animals. "I would tell our customers to buy seeds only from a company like Harvest Moon with a safe-seed guarantee. We may as well give up on corn. I'm sorry, if you're buying corn, you are probably eating GMO.

17.11.2006 |

"Non GM" gene technology challenges conventional genetic engineering

A "Rapid Trait Development System" (RTDS) has been presented by the US company Cibus as a smart and unregulated alternative to old fashioned "cut and paste" transfer of DNA between different organisms. The system induces gene alterations by bombarding a cell with a mixture of DNA and RNA, which triggers a site specific change of a known DNA sequence using the cells own gene repair mechanism, a process known as site-directed mutagenesis. Cibus expects to hit the herbicide-resistant seed market with oilseed rape next year and rice in 2008.