GMO news related to the United States

08.01.2020 |

The Gene Drive Dilemma: We Can Alter Entire Species, but Should We?

FEATURE

A new genetic engineering technology could help eliminate malaria and stave off extinctions — if humanity decides to unleash it.

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What made the gene drive truly strange and remarkable, though, was that it didn’t stop with one set of offspring. Generation after generation, it would relentlessly copy and paste the gene it carried, until it was present in every descendant. “For most of the people in the room, you could tell it was the first they’d heard of this,” James recalled. “You could see their eyes getting big.”

21.12.2019 |

Here’s Why Many CRISPR/Cas9 Experiments Could Be Wrong – and How to Fix Them

Researchers assumed that CRISPR was turning off genes. They shouldn’t have.

Every living cell on Earth has proteins. Typically thousands of them, that serve as molecular machines to digest food, sense the environment, or anything else a cell must do. However, many genes, and the proteins they code for, have unknown functions. In humans, the function of about 1 out of 5 of genes is unknown. To explore these dark corners of the genome, scientists can break up DNA to disable a gene, making their encoded proteins nonfunctional, and watch what happens to cells as a result, inferring the lost function from what goes wrong.

When CRISPR/Cas9 came online in 2012, it offered scientists a tool to do exactly this – cut genes. The Cas9 enzyme searches through DNA, using a “guide RNA” to look for a specific sequence, and makes a cut when it finds a match. The gene, split in two, is repaired by the cell, but often with a large chunk missing. Many scientists assume that if a chunk of a gene is missing then the protein that it encodes will not function, or even be produced.

In many cases, they would be terribly wrong.

17.12.2019 |

GM salmon: AquaBounty singled out by U.S. government funding bill

AquaBounty is speaking out about being singled out by the U.S. government’s new funding bill that requires the company to label its bioengineerd salmon before it is sold to consumers.

05.12.2019 |

Release: Experts Discuss Dangers of GE Chestnut

Experts Discuss Dangers of Genetically Engineered American Chestnut Release

New York – December 5th, In advance of the public release of a petition requesting unprecedented USDA permission for the unregulated planting of the first genetically engineered plant into the wild, experts are calling attention to the risks and dangers of this plan.

Researchers developing a GE American chestnut tree have stated that they are working with the USDA on this petition and hope it will be finished and publicly released in the coming weeks.

In a series of short recorded presentations, five experts from the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered trees discuss risks of the proposed release of genetically engineered American chestnut trees into wild forests.

22.11.2019 |

USA: Government lays out the rules for labeling for genetically modified foods

U.S. consumers will see labels on food products that contain genetically modified ingredients as early as 2020, federal officials said Thursday.

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The guidelines, which use the term “bioengineered” instead of the more commonly used “genetically modified,” allow disclosure of bioengineered ingredients in several formats: in text, a symbol, a digital link printed on packaging or text message.

Companies can use a QR code with a statement like: “Scan here for more food information.” After scanning the code, consumers will be brought to a website where genetically modified foods will be disclosed. If a company provides a digital link disclosure, it must also provide a telephone number consumers can call for information. Critics say companies that use the QR code should be required to include the word “bioengineered” in their statement.

13.11.2019 |

New campaign highlights threats of gene editing

Protect Nature Now explains the issues in simple terms and suggests ways to spread the word

At GMWatch, we're concerned that vast numbers of people are still unaware of the threats posed by new gene-editing techniques. Now a new campaign and set of learning and sharing tools have made it easy to understand the issues and spread the word to friends and contacts.

The campaign, called Protect Nature Now, is a project of The Institute for Responsible Technology. Protect Nature Now has released a short video, The New Global Threat from GMOs, which explains the issues in simple terms. The dangers go way beyond food, encompassing human and animal health, animal welfare, the integrity of our soils, and entire ecosystems.

16.10.2019 |

Gene Editing Mishaps Highlight Need for FDA Oversight

A Midwestern company’s quest to genetically engineer the world’s first hornless dairy cows hit a snag this summer when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found extra genes in the cows that weren’t supposed to be there. The mistakes that FDA caught – but the company missed – highlight the importance of government oversight of gene-edited foods at a time when industry groups are pushing for deregulation.

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Latham, a biologist and former genetic engineer, also points to recent findings from Japan that he believes may be more consequential than the FDA’s findings, and have greater implications for the regulatory landscape. In a 2019 study, Japanese researchers reported that edited mouse genomes had acquired DNA from the E. coli genome, as well as goat and bovine DNA. This stray DNA came from the gene editing reagents, the delivery method used to make the edits.

The findings, Latham wrote in Independent Science News, “are very simple: cutting DNA inside cells, regardless of the precise type of gene editing, predisposes genomes to acquire unwanted DNA.” He said these findings “imply, at the very least, the need for strong measures to prevent contamination by stray DNA, along with thorough scrutiny of gene-edited cells and gene-edited organisms. And, as the Recombinetics case suggests, these are needs that developers themselves may not meet.”

15.10.2019 |

Let them eat GM cottonseed!

Potentially dangerous new GMO gains US FDA approval to be fed to humans and animals – poor and hungry targeted. Report: Claire Robinson

US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulators have approved a new type of GM cotton, the seed of which is to be used for human and animal consumption. The cotton, developed by researchers at Texas A&M University, is being touted as a protein-rich way to feed the poor and hungry. However, the many risks of this GM food are being ignored.

The GM cotton is engineered to have lower than normal levels of a substance called gossypol in the seed, but normal levels in other parts of the plant. Gossypol is useful to the plant for resisting pests and diseases, but it is toxic for humans and animals (though less so to mature ruminants such as cows) to eat.

09.10.2019 |

United States - The precautionary principle to deal with GM animals?

In the United States, draft guidelines, put on the table by the Food and Drugs Agency (FDA), plans to regulate any animal whose genome has been modified. The approach chosen embraces almost all modern biotechnologies of genetic modification, beyond the only techniques inserting exogenous DNA. A draft discontenting the pro-GMOs. The application that may be required to obtain a commercial authorization partly meets the dreams of the european opponents to GMOs …

09.10.2019 |

A New Bill Could Help Protect the Sacred Seeds of Indigenous People

Clayton Brascoupé has farmed in the red-brown foothills of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains for more than 45 years. A Mohawk-Anishnaabe originally from a New York reservation, Brascoupé married into the Pueblo of Tesuque tribe and has since planted at least 60 varieties of corns, beans, squashes, and other heirloom crops grown for millennia by the area’s Native Americans.

For more than three decades, he has taught other indigenous farmers about sustainable agricultural practices, seed saving, healthy eating, and traditional food production. With seed diversity loss a grave concern in recent years, Brascoupé has been cataloguing the seeds stored by his own family. But earlier this spring, two of his tool sheds burned down, destroying several dozen varieties.

“I will have trouble replacing them. They may be lost for good,” said Brascoupé, who runs the Traditional Native American Farmers Association.

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