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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Wheat gene discovery could fend off deadly stem rust pathogen threatening global food security

Wheat gene discovery could fend off deadly stem rust pathogen threatening global food security

University of California, Davis, researchers have identified a gene that enables resistance to a new devastating strain of stem rust, ...
Ecuador activist group plans nationwide strike to protest country's loosening of GMO restrictions

Ecuador activist group plans nationwide strike to protest country’s loosening of GMO restrictions

Burning soy seeds lit up the city streets of Guayaquil, Ecuador, last May as dozens of farmers, activists and indigenous ...
Would switching to 100% organic farming help the environment? 'Absolutely not'

Would switching to 100% organic farming help the environment? ‘Absolutely not’

Should the world’s farms go 100 percent organic to protect the environment? Absolutely not. One huge problem is that organic ...
Podcast: Gene editing could make farm animals happier and healthier

Podcast: Gene editing could make farm animals happier and healthier

Just one genetically modified animal has been approved for human consumption anywhere in the world. A fast growing species of ...
Designer fruit is the future: Genetic engineering adds 'tangible benefits' for consumers

Designer fruit is the future: Genetic engineering adds ‘tangible benefits’ for consumers

Consumers have shown a great deal of resistance to GMO food over the years, but the Golden Arctic apple, which ...
USDA expects quick approval for genetically engineered virus to combat citrus greening disease in Florida

USDA expects quick approval for genetically engineered virus to combat citrus greening disease in Florida

The Agriculture Department is expected to allow Florida citrus growers to start using a genetically engineered virus to protect trees ...
Genetic Literacy Project’s Top 6 Stories for the Week – Nov. 20, 2017

Genetic Literacy Project’s Top 6 Stories for the Week – Nov. 20, 2017

Viewpoint: From Non-GMO to gluten-free, ‘fake transparency’ in food labeling offers little but higher prices | Brandon McFadden Fighting antibiotic ‘superbugs’—DNA ...
Viewpoint: Organic food fight over hydroponics about money—and that's how farming should be

Viewpoint: Organic food fight over hydroponics about money—and that’s how farming should be

Sustainable farming can’t actually be sustainable if farmers can’t make money doing it. So there’s a certain irony in the organic ...
Claims that glyphosate herbicide causes chronic diseases 'not supported by scientific evidence'

Claims that glyphosate herbicide causes chronic diseases ‘not supported by scientific evidence’

[Editor's note: Robin Mesnage was a coauthor of the retracted study led by anti-GMO activist scientist Gilles-Eric Séralini (GLP profile here) ...
Fungicides may be to blame for US bumblebee declines, study finds

Fungicides may be to blame for US bumblebee declines, study finds

When a Cornell-led team of scientists analyzed two dozen environmental factors to understand bumblebee population declines and range contractions, they ...
CRISPR could revolutionize livestock breeding—if people will eat gene-edited animals

CRISPR could revolutionize livestock breeding—if people will eat gene-edited animals

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), the last site-specific endonuclease to be developed, is an RNA- guided endonuclease, easy ...
South Australia close to passing bill to extend GMO crop ban to 2025

South Australia close to passing bill to extend GMO crop ban to 2025

South Australia is set to extend its controversial ban on the growing of genetically-modified crops until 2025 after a bill ...
Complex EU system leads to undemocratic GMO approval process

Complex EU system leads to undemocratic GMO approval process

[Editor's note: Monika Mühlböck is a professor at the Department of Economic Sociology at the University of Vienna. Jale Tosun is ...
Viewpoint: Blame activist social media for Europe's anti-science crusade against glyphosate

Viewpoint: Blame activist social media for Europe’s anti-science crusade against glyphosate

[Editor's note: Richard Hackett is an Agronomist based in North County Dublin, Ireland.] [A]ccess to abundant food has led to complacency ...
What's a 'GMO' food?

What’s a ‘GMO’ food?

[W]hat exactly is a GMO? The initialism stands for "genetically modified organism," but it's a term lacking scientific precision. Moreover, ...
Genes associated with improved photosynthesis could double crop yields, suck more CO2 out of atmosphere

Genes associated with improved photosynthesis could double crop yields, suck more CO2 out of atmosphere

Scientists from Wageningen University & Research have found natural genetic variation for photosynthesis in plants and are unravelling it to ...
Monsanto, farmers groups sue California claiming glyphosate cancer warning would be 'false speech'

Monsanto, farmers groups sue California claiming glyphosate cancer warning would be ‘false speech’

Monsanto Co and U.S. farm groups sued California on Wednesday [Nov. 15] to stop the state from requiring cancer warnings ...
Disease-resistant GMO bananas could save $12 billion Cavendish global industry

Disease-resistant GMO bananas could save $12 billion Cavendish global industry

A billion dollar banana industry at risk of a deadly disease could be saved by a scientific breakthrough from a ...
Nigeria rejects $10 million worth of unapproved GMO corn imported from Argentina

Nigeria rejects $10 million worth of unapproved GMO corn imported from Argentina

Nigeria’s National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) says it has, in conjunction with the Customs Service, ordered that the genetically modified ...
GMO stigma: The challenge of growing virus-resistant papaya in Hawaii

GMO stigma: The challenge of growing virus-resistant papaya in Hawaii

[Michael] Kamiya is a strong supporter of agricultural technology, which he credits for saving his family’s farm. He has childhood ...
Crop armor: Genetic modification to protect plants from drought, climate change

Crop armor: Genetic modification to protect plants from drought, climate change

An army of scientists is hard at work to understand how plants sense, defend and adapt to harsh environments. ...
What's next in the long, heated battle over bees and neonicotinoid insecticides?

What’s next in the long, heated battle over bees and neonicotinoid insecticides?

[S]tudies showing real-world evidence of harm from pesticides in the field have been mounting — and environmental organizations have demanded ...
CRISPR wine and beer? Rose, honey flavor-producing yeast gene identified

CRISPR wine and beer? Rose, honey flavor-producing yeast gene identified

When you taste a wine or beer that calls up the flavor of rose or honey think phenylethyl acetate; it’s ...
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity may actually be caused by fructan

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity may actually be caused by fructan

Although only one percent of the population are affected by celiac disease, gluten-free diets have become a major food trend ...
Video: Geneticist Nina Fedoroff on what to do when scientists and citizens disagree about GMOs

Video: Geneticist Nina Fedoroff on what to do when scientists and citizens disagree about GMOs

At the 2017 D.W. Brooks Lecture and Award held on Nov. 7 in the Georgia Center’s Mahler Auditorium, molecular biologist ...
Survey showing health benefits from non-GMO diet? 'The misinformation is staggering'

Survey showing health benefits from non-GMO diet? ‘The misinformation is staggering’

It was the stuff of anti-GMO activists' dreams: A “peer-reviewed” paper, published in a scientific-looking journal with an impressive title, detailing ...
Monsanto v. Arkansas: Dispute over dicamba herbicide drift damage moves to the courtroom

Monsanto v. Arkansas: Dispute over dicamba herbicide drift damage moves to the courtroom

A fight over one of the most powerful new weapons against hard-to-kill weeds, developed by agricultural giant Monsanto Co., is spilling into the ...
Small artisanal farms might not be our environmental salvation

Small artisanal farms might not be our environmental salvation

[Cricket flour] was the first note of a dinner set up by the Breakthrough Institute, a pro-technology environmental think tank, in order ...