15.02.2022 |

GM Glofish are thriving in the wild in Brazil

Escape underlines yet again the inadequacy of GMO regulations around the world. Report: Claire Robinson and Jonathan Matthews

Fish genetically engineered to glow in the dark have escaped from fish farms in Brazil and are multiplying in creeks in the Atlantic forest, a new study shows. The GM fluorescent fish are designed for aquariums and are trademarked and marketed as Glofish.

Biologists worry that the GM fish could threaten the local fauna in one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet. "This is serious," ecologist Jean Vitule at the Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, told Science magazine. Vitule says the ecological impacts are unpredictable. He worries that fluorescence genes could be introduced into native fish with detrimental effects, perhaps making them more visible to predators. "It’s like a shot in the dark," he says.

10.02.2022 |

Increase in calls for an international conference to stop patents on seeds

A petition calling for a European conference on patents is finding increasing support. The goal is to stop patents on conventionally bred plants and animals. Recent examples of these include patents on barley, bush melons, lettuce and tomatoes. Many of these patents also cover food, including beer. The Free Brewers, which has members in Germany, Austria and Luxembourg, has now started a campaign to support the petition. The European farmers’ umbrella organisation, COPA / COGECA, previously declared its support for the petition.

“From our perspective, these patents are an abuse of patent law that weaken the protection of plant varieties and seriously restrict the freedom to operate of breweries. We, therefore, fear drastic consequences for the whole of our economic sector,” explains Jürgen Keipp, head of The Free Brewers.

10.02.2022 |

CRISPR/Cas in animals: Unintended changes and unexpected patterns of inheritance

Findings relevant for planned marketing of GE laying hens

10 February 2022 / In experiments with zebrafish, researchers have for the first time shown that unintended effects of CRISPR/Cas applications are inherited in subsequent generations. They also found unusual patterns of inheritance. According to the scientists, the findings show that the effects of CRISPR/Cas applications on subsequent generations need to be examined in much greater detail.

Previous experiments with CRISPR/Cas in zebrafish have found large structural changes at off-target sites. This means that the gene scissors can cut genomic regions outside of the target site, and thus cause specific unintended mutations. The experiments are part of basic research. In this context, zebrafish are seen as important model organisms. The researchers assume that unintended genetic changes at off-target sites can be more concerning compared to those at on-target regions, as the effects may go unnoticed.

08.02.2022 |

EU research on risks and detection methods related to new GM plants

Dear Commissioner Gabriel,

Brussels, 8 February 2022

We are writing to ask for a dedicated EU research into the potential risks and analytical detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) engineered with new genetic engineering technology, such as CRISPR/Cas.

These GMOs fall within the scope of the EU’s existing GMO legislation, which aims to protect public health and the environment from any adverse effects they may cause. At the same time, they bring new challenges for the application of EU GMO legislation:

 GMOs developed with so-called genome-editing technology pose new and different risks from both conventional breeding and GMOs commercialised today.

 Existing GMO surveillance strategies are insufficient to detect the presence of these new GMOs, especially when they do not contain foreign genetic material.

27.01.2022 |

The Global Bean Project - A European network promoting the use and cultivation of legumes

The use and cultivation of legumes have great benefits for climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation and health. Local cultivation of legumes replaces unsustainable imports of animal feed, especially soybeans, to Europe and the use of mineral fertilizer through natural nitrogene fixation. Legumes diversify crop rotation and improve soil fertility and biodiversity. They are excellent sources of protein reducing or replacing meat consumption to the benefit of human health and the environment. Hundreds of varieties of beans, lentils, peas and other pulses are the basis of rich and diverse regional cultures and traditions of European kitchens and gardens and new innovative food products.

25.01.2022 |

Lawsuit Challenges Gerber Non-GMO Claim

A class-action lawsuit filed at the end of last year alleged that Non GMO (genetically modified organism) claims on many of Gerber’s baby food products are false and misleading because the products contain ingredients derived from genetically modified crops and protein and/or dairy sources derived from cows raised on genetically modified feed.

18.01.2022 |

Take Action: Stop the CFIA from abandoning GM seed regulation!

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) wants to make gene-edited genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) plants and seed exempt from regulation. Instead, it would let private companies decide if their own products are safe for the environment — and put them on the market without revealing they are gene-edited. Tell the Minister you want mandatory, independent safety assessments and mandatory reporting to government for all genetically engineered seeds and crops.

14.01.2022 |

New findings on the evolution of plants

Research outcomes also concern the differences between New GE and conventional breeding

14 January 2022 / A new scientific publication in Nature shows that the occurrence of mutations in plant genomes is not purely random, and their frequencies in populations do not only depend on the mechanisms of selection. However, it is now becoming evident that there are natural mechanisms in the genome which prevent specific genomic regions from frequent mutations. The published research sheds new light on evolutionary biology and, at the same time, raises questions in regard to the consequences of genetic engineering in plants.

08.01.2022 |

Coming to your dinner plate soon? Potentially unsafe GM tomatoes

Sanatech's sedative tomato is on the market already; Cathie Martin's purple tomato may follow

Sanatech's CRISPR gene-edited tomato engineered to contain higher levels of a sedative substance, GABA, is being sold on the open market in Japan. While GABA is reportedly viewed as a health-promoting substance in Japan, findings in studies are mixed and there are no studies at all showing that eating the gene-edited tomato has health benefits or is even safe.

06.01.2022 |

Japan Resources – 183: Will genome edited food be labelled in Japan?

From the Editors: Energetic Japan

Nuclear Power in Japan, 10 Years after the Fukushima Disaster

CUJ Opinions on the Draft Basic Energy Plan

Will genome edited food be labelled in Japan?

Another Citizens’ Food Summit: The “Green Food System Strategy” proposed by MAFF is not that “Green”

Trend: The 2nd National Nanohana Blossom Summit in Oyama was held in Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture, on 11-12 December 2021