Food & Agriculture Feature

The GLP explores the role of genetic engineering in food production and the polarized debate surrounding it. We highlight the work of our own writers, as well as that of contributors from around the Web. The GLP does not take a position on genetics-related issues; any opinions expressed belong to the authors.

Categories include:

  • Chemicals and pesticides
  • Organics
  • Conventional crops
  • New breeding technologies
  • Animal biotechnology
  • Food systems
  • Sustainability
  • Regulations
  • Politics
  • Ideology
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Is the Freedom of Information Act being abused in the 'GMO wars'?

Is the Freedom of Information Act being abused in the ‘GMO wars’?

Why did the University of California reject a Freedom of Information request for an "anti-chemical" professor's emails, while handing over ...
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 ...
'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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
How anti-biotech environmental groups are trying to kill roll-out of AquaBounty's sustainable salmon

How anti-biotech environmental groups are trying to kill roll-out of AquaBounty’s sustainable salmon

If you love Atlantic salmon, what you are eating is almost certainly farm-raised, despite what the label might say. The ...
Viewpoint: Non-GMO Project label offers nothing for consumers

Viewpoint: Non-GMO Project label offers nothing for consumers

The presence of a Non-GMO Project seal of approval doesn't really tell consumers anything about their food. And it's questionable ...
What foods have pesticide residues? When do the chemical traces pose dangers?

What foods have pesticide residues? When do the chemical traces pose dangers?

Dosage and length of exposure determines whether a compound actually produces toxic effects and could lead to such diseases as ...
Viewpoint: Zen Honeycutt's 'inexcusable' attack on orange growers betrays science

Viewpoint: Zen Honeycutt’s ‘inexcusable’ attack on orange growers betrays science

Activist group Moms Across America, run by someone with zero scientific training, makes a living attacking farmers and scientists that ...
Viewpoint: Anti-biotech groups' master plan substitutes 'citizen science' for data in quest to get glyphosate banned

Viewpoint: Anti-biotech groups’ master plan substitutes ‘citizen science’ for data in quest to get glyphosate banned

The European Union resisted the lobbying of organic and anti-biotech groups to renew authorization of glyphosate, although only for five ...
EU re-approval of glyphosate herbicide dodges farming economic woes—for now

EU re-approval of glyphosate herbicide dodges farming economic woes—for now

If the European Union eventually phases out all the popular glyphosate herbicide, the loss of farm productivity could cost Europe ...
French scientist calls for inquiry into IARC's 'misbehavior' on glyphosate cancer study

French scientist calls for inquiry into IARC’s ‘misbehavior’ on glyphosate cancer study

Following revelations that IARC withheld data showing the herbicide glyphosate does not cause cancer, French molecular geneticist Marcel Kuntz calls ...
Myth busting: Are natural pesticides really safer than synthetic ones?

Myth busting: Are natural pesticides really safer than synthetic ones?

Both organic and conventional farmers use pesticides, but these chemicals are rampant in nature and many natural ones are more ...
CRISPR breathing new life into crop breeding—can it avoid GMO controversy?

CRISPR breathing new life into crop breeding—can it avoid GMO controversy?

The food industry is hopeful the new gene-editing technology can help create new crop variants without running into the activist ...
Viewpoint: FDA regulations 'a disaster' for genetically modified animal research

Viewpoint: FDA regulations ‘a disaster’ for genetically modified animal research

The Trump Administration and Congress should rein in the FDA's regulatory overreach on genetically engineered animals, which is stifling important ...
How the tomato lost its flavor––and the way biotech could bring it back

How the tomato lost its flavor––and the way biotech could bring it back

Supermarket tomatoes have a sorry reputation for looking great but tasting like cardboard. Short of growing only heirloom tomatoes, the ...
Nanotechnology might help farmers fight climate change, pests and disease–and boost yields

Nanotechnology might help farmers fight climate change, pests and disease–and boost yields

Researchers are exploring the impact of using nanoscale nutrients––including copper––on eggplants and other crops. While early results have shown substantial ...
Viewpoint: From Non-GMO to gluten-free, 'fake transparency’ in food labeling offers little but higher prices

Viewpoint: From Non-GMO to gluten-free, ‘fake transparency’ in food labeling offers little but higher prices

At what point does food labeling become less about transparency and more about marketing strategy? A new federal law mandating ...
European farmers: Finding replacement for glyphosate is no easy task

European farmers: Finding replacement for glyphosate is no easy task

As European politicians move toward blocking the use of glyphosate, farmers there are facing the prospect of using less-effective replacements ...
Omega-3 fish oil from a plant? GMO camelina could offer sustainable alternative

Omega-3 fish oil from a plant? GMO camelina could offer sustainable alternative

The distant relative of rapeseed could solve one of the problems faced by fish farms -- growing fish with the ...
Organic farmer's plea for a better relationship between organic, conventional farming

Organic farmer’s plea for a better relationship between organic, conventional farming

An organic farmer speaks out on the similarities between conventional and organic--and the benefits farmers can receive from using both ...
Viewpoint: Taxpayer-funded Canadian news agency promotes 'fake news' about glyphosate herbicide's health risks

Viewpoint: Taxpayer-funded Canadian news agency promotes ‘fake news’ about glyphosate herbicide’s health risks

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interviewed anti-GMO activist scientist Theirry Vrain and published an article featuring several false and misleading claims ...
Viewpoint: After Christopher Wild departure, next IARC chief must fix 'beleaguered' agency

Viewpoint: After Christopher Wild departure, next IARC chief must fix ‘beleaguered’ agency

With the sudden departure of IARC head Christopher Wild, here's a wish list put together by David Zaruk, who offers ...
USDA scraps overhaul of GMO and gene edited crop regulations that biotech advocates viewed as 'unscientific'

USDA scraps overhaul of GMO and gene edited crop regulations that biotech advocates viewed as ‘unscientific’

The Trump administration withdrew a proposed USDA rule change made by the Obama administration that would have been the first ...
Viewpoint: Will Europe botch regulation of gene editing as it has GMOs?

Viewpoint: Will Europe botch regulation of gene editing as it has GMOs?

Plant biologist: Europe's precautionary stance toward agricultural biotechnology has all but blocked the introduction of GM crops and could provide ...
View from the farm: Why there is no advantage in saving seeds

View from the farm: Why there is no advantage in saving seeds

A common criticism of GMOs is that corporations force farmers to buy new seeds every year. But do farmers actually ...
South African saga: Anti-GMO activist groups' disinformation campaign against new disease-resistant corn

South African saga: Anti-GMO activist groups’ disinformation campaign against new disease-resistant corn

South Africa's corn is already more than 90 percent GMO. An application to introduce an improved, disease-fighting variety has revved ...
GMO acceptance resistant to education, political and religious beliefs

GMO acceptance resistant to education, political and religious beliefs

A study examining the public's 2006 views on GMOs offers a glimpse into the evolution of the ongoing debate over ...