Incoming Trump Administration faces key food policy challenges

| | January 2, 2017
Trump
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Here are some stories [to track] in the coming year:

Mind-bending agribusiness deals. For more than a decade, the global market for seeds and pesticides was dominated by five massive companies. Very quickly after taking power, Trump’s Department of Justice will be tasked with vetting two mind-bendingly complicated deals that  could reduce that number to three: German chemical giant Bayer’s takeover of US seed titan Monsanto and the Dow-DuPont merger. If the deals pass regulatory muster here and in Europe, three behemoths—the above two combined firms, plus Syngenta (itself recently taken over by a Chinese chemical conglomerate)—would sell about 59 percent of the globe’s seeds and 64 percent of its pesticides. Here in the United States, the concentration would be even more intense. Bayer-Monsanto alone would own nearly 60 percent of the US cottonseed market; between them, Bayer-Monsanto and Dow-DuPont would sell 75 percent of the corn seeds planted by US farmers and 64 percent of soybean seeds.

CRISPR Unleashed….In a momentous decision in August, the Obama US Department of Agriculture declared it did not have the authority to regulate new crops designed with the technology, opening the door to a barrage of CRISPR-derived products to enter US farm fields without oversight….This is one Obama policy that the Trump administration is unlikely to challenge.

Researchers have already used CRISPR to develop mushrooms that don’t brown as quickly when sliced and tomatoes that ripen on the vine two weeks earlier than normal. In September, Monsanto signed a licensing agreement with the Broad Institute—the MIT-Harvard research group that claims to have developed CRISPR—allowing the agribiz giant the right to use the technology on crops. But despite the regulatory free-for-all, recent research suggests that CRISPR may not be quite as precise as its champions claim.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: The Rise of Pesticide Giants and Other Food Stories to Watch Next Year

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
a a b b a f ac a

Video: Death by COVID: The projected grim toll in historical context

The latest statistics, as of July 10, show COVID-19-related deaths in U.S. are just under 1,000 per day nationally, which is ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
types of oak trees

Infographic: Power of evolution? How oak trees came to dominate North American forests

Over the course of some 56 million years, oaks, which all belong to the genus Quercus, evolved from a single undifferentiated ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend