News

13.07.2022 |

GMOs in Asia : What’s happening and who’s fighting back?

The world is witnessing a renewed push in favour of genetically modified seeds and crops. As they have been done in the past, biotech firms and agribusiness are pitching new biotech plants as a silver bullet for humanity’s woes, from food and nutritional insecurity, to climate change and the loss of biodiversity. In this desperate need for solutions, the corporate sector hopes that their new GMOs (genetically modified organisms) can gain public support and easily dodge biosafety regulations. This is resulting in the persistent change of laws, regulations and standards governing GMOs across Asian countries. Gene-edited products, a new generation of GMO technology, are particularly gaining ground and receiving commercial licenses. This causes great concern among consumers, farming communities and activists.

12.07.2022 |

10 things the food sector needs to know about New GMOs: number 2

The main differences between targeted mutagenesis (=new GMOs) and conventional breeding

Targeted mutagenesis is the term for new GMOs that are produced with new genetic engineering methods, such as CRISPR/Cas, TALENs and others. As a rule of thumb no genetic material from other species is permanently integrated.

Targeted mutagenesis is the term for new GMOs that are produced with new genetic engineering methods, such as CRISPR/Cas, TALENs and others. As a rule of thumb no genetic material from other species is permanently integrated.

09.07.2022 |

New GMOs Will Not Reduce Pesticide Use

Reducing pesticide use by 50% by 2030 is a central goal of the EU Farm to Fork strategy, which aims to improve the sustainability of food and farming systems and reverse environmental degradation. However, there are claims that new genetically modified (GM) plants can help achieve this.

First-generation GM crops were introduced over 20 years ago with the same promises of pesticide reductions that are now being made for new GM crops. However, the data show that this first-generation of GM crops has increased pesticide use in countries where they are widely grown. The huge majority of GM crops are either herbicide tolerant or insect-resistant. In both cases, either weeds from the GM crop’s ecosystem or plant pests have in their turn evolved to become resistant or tolerant, leading to an increase in pesticide use.

30.06.2022 |

Genome-edited tomato puree sales launched

Bio Journal - June 2022

From May 20, Pioneer Ecoscience Co., Ltd., which has been selling genome-edited tomato seedlings and tomatoes since last year, began selling the first genome-edited processed food, tomato puree. The puree is on sale for 5,832 yen for 30 sachets of 15 grams of puree each.

30.06.2022 |

Biased questions and flawed assumptions

How the EU Commission and EFSA are paving the way for deregulation of New GE

30 June 2022 / Testbiotech recently participated in an European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) consultation on guidelines for the risk assessment of ‘cisgenic’ plants, which ended at the beginning of this week. The ‘cisgenic’ plants are genetically engineered, but, in contrast to transgenic plants, contain no genetic material from other species. EFSA suggests that most applications of CRISPR/Cas can be put into this category. The consultation is, therefore, generally relevant to the risk assessment of plants derived from New GE (also called new genomic techniques, NGT). However, the way in which EFSA deals with this issue appears to be completely inadequate.

25.06.2022 |

No Environmental Release of Gene Drive Organisms

By Stop Gene Drives Campaign, Save Our Seeds, Germany; Terre a Vie, Burkina Faso; Third World Network; African Biodiversity Network (ABN); Biodiversity and Biosafety Association of Kenya (BIBA Kenya).

Gene drive technology uses new genetic engineering techniques including CRISPR/Cas9 to forcibly spread genetically engineered traits, including lethal ones, throughout entire populations and species, overriding natural rules of inheritance so that nearly 100% of offspring inherit the genetically engineered trait.

23.06.2022 |

Gene Editing: Views From Farmers and Shoppers

The debate around gene editing will likely come into the spotlight in the coming months as the government looks to relax rules around changing the DNA of livestock and crops in England. While the environment secretary says it will help ensure food security, there’s a particular concern for some organic farmers—cross-pollination.

31.05.2022 |

Food experts slam the BBC for 'lies' about genetic edited foods

THE BBC and other media have been accused of “repeating uncritically and ad nauseam” UK Government “lies” about genetically edited foods.

The news comes after the Tories in Westminster asked the devolved ­nations to renege on established ­policy and allow gene-edited crops to be grown in their territories in order to align themselves with upcoming rule changes in England.

The Conservatives have claimed that genetically edited food differs from genetically modified food – both of which are classified together under EU law – as it does not involve the insertion of foreign genes.

29.05.2022 |

Episode 4: Dr Michael Antoniou about the impact of genetic modification, gene editing and pesticides

Dr Michael explains how gene editing fits into the complex spectrum of genetic modification, and how consumers may unwittingly find themselves no longer able to avoid GM products, as government regulation eases.

With his team, he has also pioneered research into the impact of glyphosate, the globally used herbicide also known as Roundup, with shocking impacts on mammalian health.

23.05.2022 |

The series of 10 webinars: H, as in “holistic”

25.05.2022

5:30-6:45 p.m. CET

This webinar is the eighth episode of the series of ten The Alphabet of Complexity webinars. The letter H (as in “holistic”) will guide us through the main question of the day: What factors should be taken into consideration in the battles to reclaim power over food systems in 2022?

The key speakers of this webinar are Christine von Weizsäcker, Benedikt Haerlin and Nina Holland.

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