News

08.10.2021 |

Mexico quietly rejects application for GMO corn imports

For the first time, Mexico’s health safety regulator Cofepris has rejected a new variety of GMO corn, the head of the country’s National Farm Council (CNA) told Reuters. While Mexico has never permitted commercial cultivation of GMO corn, it has for decades allowed imports of such varieties that are largely used for feed. Mexico is a major market for U.S. exports of the corn, importing more than 16 MMT of primarily GMO corn from the U.S. in 2020.

Mexican President Lopez Obrador issued a decree late last year that would ban use of both glyphosate and GMO corn for human consumption by 2024, and there’s still a lot of uncertainty as to whether the GMO ban would also apply to livestock feed.

07.10.2021 |

On-target effects of genome editing techniques: (Un)repaired DNA damage, a hindrance to safety and development?

GeneWatch UK, September 2021

Genome editing encompasses new forms of genetic engineering techniques being increasingly applied to the development of agricultural and biomedical technologies, by ‘editing’ the DNA of living organisms (i.e. their ‘genome’), including plants, animals and human cells. The genome editing process involves the use of biological molecules (enzymes) which cut the DNA and various mechanisms which then repair it. Arguments over the safety and efficacy of genome editing techniques at the molecular level often hinge on aspects of their ‘precision’ in targeting DNA sequences of interest, and the ‘indistinguishability’ of engineered traits from mutations that may arise naturally.

05.10.2021 |

Can altering the genes in our food really be safe?

Longtime GMO critic Geoffrey Lean draws attention to troubling research findings on gene editing

The article below on the Westminster government's intention to deregulate gene editing is by Geoffrey Lean – Britain’s longest-serving environmental correspondent, who has written regularly for the Telegraph, the Yorkshire Post, the Observer and the Independent on Sunday, among other publications.

04.10.2021 |

Keep GMOs Out of Our Fields and Plates

The agro-chemical industry is looking to sneak in new GMOs in Europe, untested and unlabeled. Tell the European Commission it must apply the EU’s GMO regulations to all GMOs, including new GMOs such as those produced with CRISPR/Cas.

We have until October 22nd to give feedback to the European Commission about its plans to deregulate new GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). To stop new GMOs from coming to our fields and plates, make your voice heard.

04.10.2021 |

COVID-19: Group warns against pushing pro-GMO agenda

THE Africa Technology Assessment Platform (AfriTAP) has stated that it is wrong to use the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) crisis to cynically push pro-Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) agenda.

It insisted that anti-GMO activists were not conspiracy theorists and that the deliberate attempts to re-colonise, control and exploit Africa and the African people must be resisted.

04.10.2021 |

Switzerland extends its GMO moratorium, explicitly covering gene-edited GM plants

National Council must report on coexistence and liability in the event of GMO contamination within four years

The Swiss National Council (lower house of the Swiss Federal Assembly, the parliament of Switzerland) has extended the moratorium on the cultivation of genetically modified plants in agriculture by another four years until the end of 2025. The vote to extend the moratorium was carried by 144 votes to 27, with 19 abstentions.

Applications from some members of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Green Liberal Party (GLP) to exempt gene editing technologies from the moratorium were rejected.

02.10.2021 |

Tell the European Commission: No to new GMOs

Keep GM food out of our fields and off our plates (quick and easy action for EU and non-EU citizens)

The European Commission is asking for your opinion on new GMOs produced with gene editing techniques like CRISPR. We've told them to apply existing GMO regulations to all GMOs and to stop trying to sneak GM food onto our fields and plates untested and unlabelled. Send your own message to the Commission at

https://www.gmwatch.org/en/19882-tell-the-commission-no-to-gmos

30.09.2021 |

Webinar – EU Commission’s study on new genomic techniques

Save the date for the upcoming ProTerra Webinars

In its study on new genomic techniques, published on the 29th of April, the EU Commission has announced a "targeted policy action“ based on an impact assessment. What does this mean for EU GMO legislation, what are possible scenarios, how would the European food and feed sector be affected, especially the Non-GMO sector? The webinar will give an update and an analysis of recent developments.

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.

22.09.2021 |

Chromothripsis: Bad news for gene editing

Discovery of "catastrophic" unintended effect of CRISPR gene editing may have caused slump in companies' stock. Report: Claire Robinson

CRISPR gene editing is often presented as a straightforward, precise, and safe procedure. But recent research findings on CRISPR gene editing for gene therapy applications show it can lead to massive damage to chromosomes. The phenomenon is known as chromothripsis.

An article in Nature Biotechnology about the new findings describes chromothripsis as "an extremely damaging form of genomic rearrangement that results from the shattering of individual chromosomes and the subsequent rejoining of the pieces in a haphazard order".

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