Disease resistant GMO cassava promising, but approvals in Uganda, Kenya still years away

…In many parts of East and Central Africa, farmers are experiencing declining yields of cassava due to brown streak virus…

For the past decade, scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur have led a project that tries another tack: genetically modifying cassava plants for disease resistance.

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Traditional breeding methods have been slow to help cassava crops develop resistance to brown streak, partially because the plant can reproduce without seeds…

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The Danforth Center’s project is called VIRCA: Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa. The project is going through field trials… in Uganda and Kenya, and preliminary results have been promising. But researchers do not expect to complete regulatory approvals… for at least another four years.

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Ugandans are debating whether genetically modified crops should be permitted at all. The country’s Parliament tabled a bill to approve genetically modified crops earlier this year after local opposition…

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As the Uganda government mulls the decision, a handful of genetically modified crops are getting closer to fruition, including bananas, cotton and corn. Each comes with promises of disease resistance, bio-fortification or drought tolerance…

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post:  St. Louis researchers hope genetically modified crops can prevent hunger in East Africa

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