News

15.03.2019

US example shows why "new GM" crop plants must be regulated

Risk assessments and labelling needed for each "new GMO" to protect people and environment

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has already given non-regulated status to more than 20 plants genetically engineered with so-called genome editing techniques, according to research by Testbiotech. None of the applications registered at USDA were referred for further more detailed assessment. The Testbiotech report published today shows that there are, however, significant differences in methods of production, traits, and risks of the non-regulated plants, in comparison to those derived from conventional breeding.

These differences are not caused by the newly introduced gene sequences but by the patterns of genetic changes. "Gene-scissors" such as CRISPR/Cas can delete whole families of gene variants all at once – but this is either impossible or barely possible with current conventional breeding methods. A further specific difference is that in a first step, older methods such as the "gene gun" (biolistic method) or gene transfer via Agrobacterium tumefaciens are commonly used. However, USDA completely ignores these differences to conventional breeding.

14.03.2019

Am I Regulated? The US example: why new methods of genetically engineering crop plants need to be regulated

New methods of genetic engineering, also known as genome editing, are increasingly at the centre of controversial public debate. One crucial question is, how the risks of organisms resulting from this methods

should be assessed.

In the EU, all genetically engineered organisms must undergo a mandatory risk assessment. In the USA, on the other hand, there are no such legal requirements, instead individual cases are registered at the US Department of Agriculture resp. the APHIS division (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) to assess whether they need to be regulated.

For the purposes of this report, we have chosen organisms already registered with the APHIS division of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which offers a program titled “Am I Regulated?”. The applications filed at APHIS are especially relevant because some of the organisms (mostly plants) are intended for cultivation in the near future, and for use in food and feed production.

14.03.2019

Non-GMO Flour Market Growth, Trends, Absolute Opportunity and Value Chain 2018-2028

The non-GMO flour market is likely to remain influenced with growing consumer inclination toward healthy diet worldwide. Various lifestyle diseases have translated in a paradigm shift toward gluten free food products and non-GMO flour is no exception. The non-GMO flour being organic in nature, facilitate removal of bad fat, supporting in maintaining cardio-vascular health of people. In addition non-GMO flour removes obesogens that stack body fat, which results in lower cholesterol levels.

Growing certifications from regulatory authorities are expected to impact the growth of non-GMO flour market. The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and Non-GMO Project Verified are two vital certifications that non-GMO flour must undergo in order to enter the commercial market. Main focus behind these stringent certifications on non-GMO flour is to gain consumer confidence on non-GMO flour and other organic products, largely to push the organic trend worldwide. However, though these certifications ensure zero dent in consumer confidence, it becomes difficult for non-GMO flour producers to fully meet certification requirements.

13.03.2019

Domestic supplies of organic, non-GMO crops grow

Mercaris, a market data and auctions startup that is helping to grow organic and non-GMO agriculture in the U.S., released March 13 its monthly market update outlining the current state of organic corn and soybean production and imports in the U.S.

U.S. organic corn production reached nearly 42 million bushels last year, experiencing a 2% year-over-year (y/y) increase that was boosted by acreage expansion in the 2018/2019 marketing year. Yields held mostly even with the prior year, Mercaris noted.

13.03.2019

CRISPR spin-off causes unintended mutations in DNA

DNA base editors not as safe as previously thought

The past few years have seen a large number of research articles showing that the CRISPR gene-editing tool, designed to make a double-strand break in the DNA in a targeted location, may also cause many unintended mutations (damage to DNA).

Genetic engineers have tried to get around this problem by adapting the CRISPR gene-editing tool so that it no longer makes a double-strand break in the DNA. One adaptation consists of piggybacking onto the CRISPR tool an enzyme that changes individual DNA bases (so called “base editing”).

Base editing has been touted as a way of introducing changes in genes while avoiding the unintended effects, such as large deletions or rearrangements, which can arise from DNA repair processes following the usual CRISPR-induced double-strand DNA break.

13.03.2019

New Quality Assurance International certification mark links organic, non-GMO

SAN DIEGO – Quality Assurance International (QAI) has launched a certification mark to help consumers understand that products certified organic by the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) also must be free of genetically modified organisms/bioengineered ingredients.

San Diego-based QAI, a provider of organic certification services, conducted a study that found 80 percent of respondents were unaware that products with the USDA organic seal were also non-GMO.

13.03.2019

Non-Gmo Foods Market 2021: Global Size, Key Manufacturers, Upcoming Trends, Growth and Regional Forecasts Research

Non-Gmo Foods Market overview :About Non-GMO Foods

The global non-GMO foods market is growing at a steady pace. The increase in the number of health-conscious people and increasing demand for non-GMO food products by middle class families are the primary reasons for the growth of the market. The rising demand for organic food products has also increased the demand for non-GMO food products from consumers. However, premium pricing of non-GMO food products is expected to act as one of the major barriers for the growth of the global non-GMO foods market. The increased adoption of non-GMO seeds by farmers and the growing number of food companies in the non-GMO food sector are expected to fuel the global non-GMO foods market positively during the forecast period.

12.03.2019

EU liberal party forced to end corporate sponsorship after Macron pressure

The EU’s liberal political party has been forced to end corporate donations after complaints from Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche over funding received from agrichemical giant Bayer.

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) brings together liberal parties from across Europe and is the fourth biggest political family in the European Parliament. Alde have been courting Mr Macron’s centrist party as future allies after pan-EU elections in May.

On Wednesday Hans van Baalen, Alde chairman, said the party would no longer allow private sector companies to sponsor stands at its political events or give corporate donations after controversy over money received from Bayer in 2017.

12.03.2019

Gene-edited food quietly arrives in restaurant cooking oil

NEW YORK (AP) — Somewhere in the Midwest, a restaurant is frying foods with oil made from gene-edited soybeans. That’s according to the company making the oil, which says it’s the first commercial use of a gene-edited food in the U.S.

Calyxt said it can’t reveal its first customer for competitive reasons, but CEO Jim Blome said the oil is “in use and being eaten.”

The Minnesota-based company is hoping the announcement will encourage the food industry’s interest in the oil, which it says has no trans fats and a longer shelf life than other soybean oils. Whether demand builds remains to be seen, but the oil’s transition into the food supply signals gene editing’s potential to alter foods without the controversy of conventional GMOs, or genetically modified organisms.

Among the other gene-edited crops being explored: Mushrooms that don’t brown, wheat with more fiber, better-producing tomatoes, herbicide-tolerant canola and rice that doesn’t absorb soil pollution as it grows.

11.03.2019

Here Come the Frankenfish: Critics Warn GE Salmon Import Approval Puts Consumers and Fisheries at 'Serious Risk'

Consumer advocates charge the move "runs counter to sound science and market demand."

The Trump administration has lifted a ban on importing genetically engineered or GE salmon, which critics have long called "Frankenfish," in a move that consumer advocates charge "runs counter to sound science and market demand."

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the decision on Friday, more than three years after approving GE salmon as the first biotech animal authorized for commercial sale and consumption in the United States.

"With this move, FDA has put American consumers at serious risk by putting unlabeled, unnatural fish on the market."

—Friends of the Earth

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