News

07.09.2020 |

First open source detection test for a gene-edited GM crop

Brussels – Greenpeace, together with other non-governmental organisations, non-GMO food associations and a food retailer, announced that the first-ever public detection method for a gene-edited crop has been successfully developed and published. The new research refutes claims by the biotech industry and some regulators that new genetically modified (GM) crops engineered with gene editing are indistinguishable from similar, non-GM crops and therefore cannot be regulated.

The new method detects a herbicide-tolerant rapeseed variety that was developed using gene editing, a new form of genetic engineering. It allows European Union (EU) countries to carry out checks to prevent this unauthorised GM crop from entering EU food and feed supply chains illegally.

20.08.2020 |

Podcast #4: What is Technology?

And why do we need technology assessment? An interview with Jim Thomas

In this episode, ETC Co-Executive Director Jim Thomas explains how ETC understands technology, "Mooney's Law," and the utility of technology assessments for social movements. The episode is hosted by Zahra Moloo.

16.08.2020 |

Not-so-golden rice: Agro-imperialism in a time of COVID-19 (Part 1)

The Gates Foundation funded project ‘Golden Rice’(link is external) is an unnecessary and unwanted GMO technology driven by big agriculture corporations purely for profit. It endangers agrobiodiversity, self-determination and community health in the global south. Agroecologists & small-medium/peasant farmer networks have been campaigning against the propagation and commercialisation of Golden Rice since the mid-2000s(link is external) via protest and direct action resistance.

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This is Episode 1 of a three part series featuring concerned activists from the Stop Golden Rice Network(link is external) speaking at an urgent online forum to commemorate the International Day of Action Against Golden Rice(link is external).

12.08.2020 |

New genetic engineering techniques associated with numerous risks

New scientific paper demonstrates the need for process oriented risk assessment

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

A new scientific paper published in the Environmental Sciences Europe journal gives an overview of the risks associated with genome editing procedures (new genetic engineering) for plants and animals. The risks are not only restricted to a wide range of unintended effects that can be triggered by the process of genome editing. There are also risks associated with the intended biological characteristics generated through genome editing.

Genome editing techniques, in particular those using the CRISPR/Cas 'gene scissors', increase the possibilities and speed with which the genomes of plants and animals can be altered. It does not matter whether additional genes are introduced into the genome or not. Small genetic modifications are often performed in combination and can cause significant changes in metabolic pathways and plant composition. The study concludes that the novel, intended properties must be thoroughly tested, even if no additional genes are inserted.

11.08.2020 |

NO to genetic engineering in our forests!

The biotech industry wants to make genetic engineering acceptable by touting it as the key to saving endangered species. In reality, it it is unleashing a massive, irreversible experiment with unforeseeable consequences for the environment. We can’t let this go ahead – tell the US Department of Agriculture to say NO to Frankentrees!

Call to action!

11.08.2020 |

Broadening the GMO risk assessment in the EU for genome editing technologies in agriculture

Genome editing techniques, especially the CRISPR/Cas technology, increase the possibilities and the speed of altering genetic material in organisms. So-called genome editing is increasingly being used to achieve agriculturally relevant novel traits and/or genetic combinations in both plants and animals, although predominantly as proof of concept studies, with commercial growing or rearing so far limited to the U.S. and Canada. However, there are numerous reports of unintended effects such as off-target effects, unintended on-target effects and other unintended consequences arising from genome editing, summarised under the term genomic irregularities. Despite this, the searching for genomic irregularities is far from routine in these studies and protocols vary widely, particularly for off-target effects, leading to differences in the efficacy of detection of off-target effects.

09.08.2020 |

Experts debunk false claims that GM Bt cotton in India has been a grand success

By nearly all measures, hybrid GM Bt cotton in India is a failure.

Three eminent experts have joined forces to debunk claims by members of two influential think tanks that GM Bt cotton in India has been a resounding success.

The claims were made by Dr Ramesh Chand, a member of the Indian Government think tank Niti Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), in an interview published by BloombergQuint in July 2020. Dr Chand said that India has three pressing needs: improving farm efficiency, sustainability, and food security. He claimed that a “positive environment" for GM crops was developing in India “as there is no credible study to show any adverse impact of growing Bt cotton in the last 18 years in the country”.

07.08.2020 |

Why We Oppose Golden Rice

By the Stop Golden Rice Network (SGRN)

(Released today in commemoration of the International Day of Protest Against Golden Rice, now in its 7th year)

The push for corporate-led solutions to hunger and malnutrition is alarming. In particular, Golden Rice is now being proposed as a solution to the worsening hunger and malnutrition associated with the pandemic. Agrochemical transnationals (TNCs) and collaborating institutions such as the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) are using concerns over food security during the pandemic to push for an industrial agricultural system that is already discredited.

03.08.2020 |

Gene editing: Unexpected outcomes and risks

Technical advisor: Dr Michael Antoniou

More papers have been published on unintended outcomes and risks of gene editing in medical research on human and animal cells and laboratory animals, compared with plants. The results have implications for the gene editing of farm animals. The problems found with human and animal gene editing are increasingly being confirmed in plant gene editing.

The unintended mutational (DNA damaging) outcomes summarized below occur after the gene-editing tool has completed its task of creating a double-strand DNA break. The mutations occur as a consequence of the cell’s DNA repair machinery, over which the genetic engineer has no control. So even if scientists eventually succeed in avoiding off-target mutations, most of the unintended mutations described can still occur at the intended gene-editing site.

01.08.2020 |

GMO promoter Krebs misleads the BBC and the British public on gene editing

Makes inflated promises and false claims for an unproven technology

Below is a transcript of what the GMO promoter and member of the UK’s House of Lords, John Krebs, told the BBC in an interview about the government's intention to deregulate gene editing so that it's no longer defined and regulated as a genetic modification technique.

Krebs was a supporter of the amendment to the Agriculture Bill, which aimed to deregulate gene editing. While the amendment was withdrawn, ministers have voiced the government's intention to take up the deregulation of gene editing issue, starting with a public consultation in the autumn.

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