Food & Agriculture from around the Web

Every day, the staff of the Genetic Literacy Project scours the Web for stories on a range of agricultural and food issues, including the GMO debate, conventional and organic farming, regulations, new breeding technologies and sustainability. We publish excerpts of those stories and encourage our readers to visit the original publications for the complete stories.
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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’ ...
Vitamin-enhanced GMO potatoes could combat malnutrition—if they ever hit the market

Vitamin-enhanced GMO potatoes could combat malnutrition—if they ever hit the market

Sufferers of malnutrition in the global south could soon find help from an unlikely source: a humble potato, genetically tweaked ...
Genetic engineering, synthetic biology poised to boost photosynthesis and carbon capture

Genetic engineering, synthetic biology poised to boost photosynthesis and carbon capture

In a feature article published in the open access journal eLife, an international team of experts led by Dr Bonnie Wintle ...
Viewpoint: Why it's time to start talking about a glyphosate herbicide replacement

Viewpoint: Why it’s time to start talking about a glyphosate herbicide replacement

Don’t get me wrong. I fully recognise the current need for Irish tillage and grassland farmers to use the herbicide ...
Drought-resistant plant genes could lead to crops that need less water

Drought-resistant plant genes could lead to crops that need less water

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have identified a common set of genes that enable different ...
Plant genetics pioneer Joanne Chory wins $3 million Breakthrough Prize

Plant genetics pioneer Joanne Chory wins $3 million Breakthrough Prize

Salk Institute scientist Joanne Chory, one of the world’s preeminent plant biologists who is now leading the charge to combat global ...
Activist groups plan to sue Germany, EU over glyphosate herbicide re-approval

Activist groups plan to sue Germany, EU over glyphosate herbicide re-approval

Environmentalist groups said on Monday [Dec. 4] that Germany and the European Union had broken the rules when assessing the ...
Glyphosate, Monsanto and Europe: How science and reason almost lost out to hysteria and emotion

Glyphosate, Monsanto and Europe: How science and reason almost lost out to hysteria and emotion

The glyphosate saga is a fascinating case study in how easily politics can derail science. In watching the glyphosate issue ...
CRISPR and agriculture: Technology improving crop yields, nutrition and stress tolerance

CRISPR and agriculture: Technology improving crop yields, nutrition and stress tolerance

The present study reviews agricultural applications related to the use of CRISPR systems in plants from 52 peer-reviewed articles published ...
Salmon may soon be fed GMO canola high in omega-3 fatty acids

Salmon may soon be fed GMO canola high in omega-3 fatty acids

The omega-3 canola oil, which is extracted from rape plants that have been genetically modified to produce the key fatty ...
Number of genetically engineered crops could balloon thanks to new technique using pollen DNA

Number of genetically engineered crops could balloon thanks to new technique using pollen DNA

[T]he war over GM crops, though intense, has so far been restricted to a small number of battlefields – corn, ...
Viewpoint: Biggest 'bee apocalypse' myth? There isn't one

Viewpoint: Biggest ‘bee apocalypse’ myth? There isn’t one

[D]espite panicked claims of an apocalypse, managed honeybee colonies in the United States have actually been rising since 2008. In fact, as of ...
'New Girl' is no farm girl: Zooey Deschanel misinforms on organic food, farming

‘New Girl’ is no farm girl: Zooey Deschanel misinforms on organic food, farming

In Zooey Deschanel’s third “Your Food’s Roots” video, part of a five episode educational series presented by media company Attn:, the ...
Higher prices and uncertain benefits: Are organic foods worth it?

Higher prices and uncertain benefits: Are organic foods worth it?

Consumers have been paying a lot to eat organic; foods with the certification sometimes costs twice as much as conventional products. The premium prices may not be ...
GMO sugar beets help farmers reduce herbicide, water and fuel use, improve soil

GMO sugar beets help farmers reduce herbicide, water and fuel use, improve soil

You could say sugar-beet sugar runs through the blood of Luke Adams. “I grew up a sugar beet farmer,” Adams ...
'Unmitigated disaster': South Australian farmers enraged by government's GMO crop ban

‘Unmitigated disaster’: South Australian farmers enraged by government’s GMO crop ban

South Australia’s farmers are unlikely to have access to genetically modified (GM) crops until at least 2025 after a bill to extend ...
UN FAO, African Union urge governments to adopt biotech to address food insecurity, malnutrition

UN FAO, African Union urge governments to adopt biotech to address food insecurity, malnutrition

The African Union Commission and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), urged African governments to proactively employ science, technologies and innovations – ...
Kenya field trail shows promise of GMO insect-resistant Bt corn to combat fall armyworm African invasion

Kenya field trail shows promise of GMO insect-resistant Bt corn to combat fall armyworm African invasion

Scientists in [Kenya] have successfully tested genetically modified maize samples that are resistant to stem borer and are drought tolerant ...
How France, Italy and Belgium would profit if glyphosate is banned or restricted

How France, Italy and Belgium would profit if glyphosate is banned or restricted

If Paris and Rome carry through with their plans to ban glyphosate, a small group of French, Italian and Belgian ...
Viewpoint: France shows its irrationality in embracing nuclear power but rejecting glyphosate safety

Viewpoint: France shows its irrationality in embracing nuclear power but rejecting glyphosate safety

[Editor's note: Cécile Philippe is an economist and Director-General of the Molinari Economic Institute.] In France, a glyphosate ban for ...
Long neglected by breeders, Africa's staple 'orphan crops' undergoing a genetic revolution

Long neglected by breeders, Africa’s staple ‘orphan crops’ undergoing a genetic revolution

Cassava and sweet potatoes. Lablab beans and water berries. Bitter gourds and sickle sennas. Elephant ears and African locusts. ... All ...
Gene could unlock high yield soybeans with increased protein for animal feed

Gene could unlock high yield soybeans with increased protein for animal feed

Leftovers can be quite valuable. For instance, when soybean seed is crushed and the oil extracted, what’s left is called ...
Science Moms hit back at anti-GMO group's Monsanto 'shill' accusations

Science Moms hit back at anti-GMO group’s Monsanto ‘shill’ accusations

[Editor's note: Alison Bernstein, Anastasia Bodnar, Jenny Splitter, Kavin Senapathy, Layla Katiraee, and Natalie Newell are part of a group called Science ...
Post-Brexit UK will continue GMO crop ban, environment secretary says

Post-Brexit UK will continue GMO crop ban, environment secretary says

Food made from genetically modified crops will continue to be banned in the UK after Britain leaves the European Union, ...
Vote to approve glyphosate herbicide shakes up German, EU politics

Vote to approve glyphosate herbicide shakes up German, EU politics

European Union countries found themselves at odds on Monday [Nov. 27] over weed killer. After a long deadlock over renewing the ...
Indian scientist: For some crops, genetic engineering 'only option' to improve food security

Indian scientist: For some crops, genetic engineering ‘only option’ to improve food security

[Editor's note: Rajeev Varshney is Research Program Director for Genetic Gains, at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics ...
French President Macron advocates glyphosate herbicide ban within 3 years

French President Macron advocates glyphosate herbicide ban within 3 years

The European Union voted on Monday [Nov. 27] to extend its authorization for the world’s best-selling herbicide for an abbreviated ...