Crops & Food

We eat to live. Humans use approximately 11% of Earth’s land for the cultivation of crops for food, but also for clothing, medicine and biofuels. Globally, major crops include sugarcane, pumpkin, maize (corn), wheat, rice, cassava, soybeans, hay, potatoes and cotton.

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Talking Biotech: How will dicamba herbicide-resistant GMO crops fare after contamination fiasco?

Talking Biotech: How will dicamba herbicide-resistant GMO crops fare after contamination fiasco?

Agronomist Karen Corrigan: Companies, farmers, and weed scientists should focus more on solutions to dicamba drift issues and less on ...
Organic food helps you get pregnant? Media outlets fall for 'activist science'

Organic food helps you get pregnant? Media outlets fall for ‘activist science’

[Editor's note: Terence Bradshaw is a research associate at the University of Vermont. He has a PhD in plant & soil science.] ...
Fast-growing AquaBounty salmon could pave way for more genetically modified animals

Fast-growing AquaBounty salmon could pave way for more genetically modified animals

When it was revealed over the summer that genetically modified salmon was now being sold in Canada, the backlash from ...
Viewpoint: 'Radical change' needed to make global food system sustainable

Viewpoint: ‘Radical change’ needed to make global food system sustainable

The Green Revolution of the post-World War II era has rightly been hailed as a huge achievement for humankind. Transformation ...
Would switching to organic farming cut greenhouse gas emissions?

Would switching to organic farming cut greenhouse gas emissions?

A new study, led by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, gives the impression that a large-scale shift to organic farming ...
Quantity vs quality: Burkina Faso's problems with Monsanto's insect-resistant GMO Bt cotton

Quantity vs quality: Burkina Faso’s problems with Monsanto’s insect-resistant GMO Bt cotton

In 2000, farmers in Burkina Faso, Africa’s top cotton grower, were desperate. Their cotton fetched top prices because its high-quality ...
Organic movement schism? Fight over hydroponics puts $50 billion industry in limbo

Organic movement schism? Fight over hydroponics puts $50 billion industry in limbo

The USDA's ruling that crops grown using hydroponics and aquaculture can be labeled organic set off a heated debate over ...
Top 5 most ridiculous types of Non-GMO Project labeled products

Top 5 most ridiculous types of Non-GMO Project labeled products

The stuff with no G to M It would stand to reason that any Non-GMO Project certified item would have ...
Women in science: Geneticist Pamela Ronald, developer of GMO flood-resistant rice

Women in science: Geneticist Pamela Ronald, developer of GMO flood-resistant rice

[T]he breakthrough that finally created rice seeds strong enough to stand up to blight and flood came when Pamela Ronald ...
'Roundup Facing the Judges': Documentary promotes glyphosate conspiracy theories, pseudoscience

‘Roundup Facing the Judges’: Documentary promotes glyphosate conspiracy theories, pseudoscience

[Editor's note: Øystein Heggdal is a Norwegian agronomist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and natural resources. He is ...
Viewpoint: EU's glyphosate herbicide fight reveals limits of Europe-wide governance

Viewpoint: EU’s glyphosate herbicide fight reveals limits of Europe-wide governance

Glyphosate, the ubiquitous herbicide, may not really be poison, but it could well be the most politicized substance in Europe. In ...
Neonicotinoid seed treatments 'best option' for soil pests, but should be used judiciously, study says

Neonicotinoid seed treatments ‘best option’ for soil pests, but should be used judiciously, study says

The topic of neonicotinoid seed treatments (NSTs) continues to keep researchers searching for answers. A study from the University of ...
CRISPR gene-editing technology expected to accelerate crop development

CRISPR gene-editing technology expected to accelerate crop development

Genetically modified crops are continuing to spread across the world’s agricultural land. Last year they covered a record 185m hectares, ...
'Big Ag' may resonate with activists, but what does it really mean?

‘Big Ag’ may resonate with activists, but what does it really mean?

For some, GMOs are synonymous with 'Big Ag'? For others, 'Big Ag' means something entirely different. Does 'Big Ag' even ...
Anti-GMO group March Against Monsanto promotes, profits from anti-vaccine ads

Anti-GMO group March Against Monsanto promotes, profits from anti-vaccine ads

Visit the March Against Monsanto website and you'll see a strange ad peppering the pages, among the usual dubious stories about ...
Fighting poverty with GMOs: Filipino farmers turn to insect-resistant Bt corn to boost yields, income

Fighting poverty with GMOs: Filipino farmers turn to insect-resistant Bt corn to boost yields, income

Agricultural choices don't just affect food availability. They also have significant economic and social ramifications. A case in point is the ...
Should organic farming embrace new plant breeding techniques like CRISPR?

Should organic farming embrace new plant breeding techniques like CRISPR?

Over the last few years, new tools have rapidly created possibilities in plant breeding. These New Plant Breeding Techniques (NPBTs) ...
Viewpoint: Food Evolution movie shows GMO supporters 'you're not alone'

Viewpoint: Food Evolution movie shows GMO supporters ‘you’re not alone’

If you have the opportunity to see the documentary “Food Evolution,” do it. It has been the most talked-about food and agriculture ...
Economist: EU's GMO crop ban likely led to lower corn, soybean yields in Europe compared to US

Economist: EU’s GMO crop ban likely led to lower corn, soybean yields in Europe compared to US

Is it true that a ban on GM crops in the European Union has hurt productivity? Most likely yes, retired ...
'To lose them would be a disaster': More than 20 wild relatives of modern crops added to 'threatened' list

‘To lose them would be a disaster’: More than 20 wild relatives of modern crops added to ‘threatened’ list

Wild relatives of modern crops deemed crucial for food security are being pushed to the brink of extinction, according to ...
Viewpoint: Anti-GMO scare tactics show need for scientific literacy

Viewpoint: Anti-GMO scare tactics show need for scientific literacy

Many of the arguments made by organic supporters and GMO critics aren't supported by science. That combination can have harmful ...
Climate change fighting plants: Genetically modified crops could trap half of human CO2 emissions in soil

Climate change fighting plants: Genetically modified crops could trap half of human CO2 emissions in soil

The Salk Institute has enlisted a new ally in the effort to address the anticipated dangers of climate change — plants. Scientists ...
French farmers: 3 years too short to develop viable replacement for glyphosate herbicide

French farmers: 3 years too short to develop viable replacement for glyphosate herbicide

President Emmanuel Macron’s promise to rid France of controversial weedkiller glyphosate within three years has left some farmers in the ...
What can other African countries learn from South Africa's experience with GMO crops?

What can other African countries learn from South Africa’s experience with GMO crops?

Despite promotion of GM crops, adoption has been slow across the continent. South Africa began using the technology in the ...
Leaked draft of EU report reveals mixed findings on neonicotinoids and bees

Leaked draft of EU report reveals mixed findings on neonicotinoids and bees

Draft findings from the European Food Safety Authority feed into a long-running, heated and so far inconclusive debate into why Europe’s ...
USDA again probes National Organic Program's 'weak' import controls, putting label's integrity at risk

USDA again probes National Organic Program’s ‘weak’ import controls, putting label’s integrity at risk

The USDA’s National Organic Program completed more complaint reviews and investigations that it received in 2017.  It finished work on ...
Judge dismisses lawsuit against Dannon alleging consumers misled by 'all-natural' dairy products from cows fed GMOs

Judge dismisses lawsuit against Dannon alleging consumers misled by ‘all-natural’ dairy products from cows fed GMOs

A judge has granted Dannon’s motion to dismiss a high-profile false advertising lawsuit alleging shoppers were misled by its ‘all-natural’ ...
Viewpoint: 12 ways organic activists mislead consumers

Viewpoint: 12 ways organic activists mislead consumers

Does the organic food industry use deceptive marketing practices to scare wealthy customers away from conventional agriculture and GMOs? The ...