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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Backlash to flawed 'landmark' European neonicotinoid study: Inconclusive data suggest both health benefits and harm

Backlash to flawed ‘landmark’ European neonicotinoid study: Inconclusive data suggest both health benefits and harm

Upside down news: A backlash by independent scientists has begun to emerge, challenging sensational accounts of a 'landmark' European field ...
Global hunger challenge requires mix of high-tech, GM and organic methods

Global hunger challenge requires mix of high-tech, GM and organic methods

As the world's population booms, solutions are needed to feed an additional 2 billion humans by 2050. Can organic and ...
Opinion: GMO opponents in 'frenzied heat' trying to discredit Food Evolution movie

Opinion: GMO opponents in ‘frenzied heat’ trying to discredit Food Evolution movie

Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle and other anti-GMO activists have complained that the documentary Food Evolution is nothing more than a ...
Opinion | Putin’s 'sock puppets': How Russia 'uses' anti-GMO activists to undermine crop biotech and science

Opinion | Putin’s ‘sock puppets’: How Russia ‘uses’ anti-GMO activists to undermine crop biotech and science

In its promotion of 'fake news,' Russia is committed to undermining US technological advantages by using anti-GMO activists to spread ...
Food Evolution's NYC premiere proof science and reason can win over GMO skeptics

Food Evolution’s NYC premiere proof science and reason can win over GMO skeptics

Change is hard. But a skeptical New York City crowd's reaction to Food Evolution, a new documentary about GMOs, provides ...
Plight of the monarch: Threatened by more than the loss of milkweed food supply

Plight of the monarch: Threatened by more than the loss of milkweed food supply

Anti-GMO critics often blame the herbicide glyphosate for monarch butterfly population declines, as it kills the insect's habitat--weeds. But a ...
Why one scientist refuses to buy organic foods

Why one scientist refuses to buy organic foods

Many consumers opt for organic food thinking it is healthier and is grown more sustainably. One plant scientist challenges the ...
Opinion: Activists—not biotech companies—responsible for public backlash against GMOs

Opinion: Activists—not biotech companies—responsible for public backlash against GMOs

Biotech companies like Monsanto are often blamed for not doing enough to combat consumer skepticism of GM foods. But anti-GMO ...
Protecting the world's seeds: Are we doing enough to ensure genetic diversity?

Protecting the world’s seeds: Are we doing enough to ensure genetic diversity?

Nations of the world are working to preserve seed diversity through the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food ...
'Food Evolution' movie could mark turning point in public GMO discussion

‘Food Evolution’ movie could mark turning point in public GMO discussion

Food Evolution, a documentary about the GMO debate, brings pro-science perspectives into the mainstream and casts a harsh light on ...
GMO 20-year safety endorsement: 280 science institutions, more than 3,000 studies

GMO 20-year safety endorsement: 280 science institutions, more than 3,000 studies

Despite vehement public debate, there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that GE foods present no greater risk than non-GMO crops, ...
WHO's IARC under fire for ignoring exculpatory data on glyphosate: Should it be reformed or abolished?

WHO’s IARC under fire for ignoring exculpatory data on glyphosate: Should it be reformed or abolished?

Independent scientists challenge IARC's use of 'hazard' rather than 'risk' analysis--its operating premise that a substance should be ‘labeled’ carcinogenic ...
Conservation agriculture: Beyond the organic vs. conventional culture wars debate

Conservation agriculture: Beyond the organic vs. conventional culture wars debate

How can journalists navigate the 'pitched battle' between organic advocates and biotechnology? Focus on real measures of sustainability, not polemical ...
'Most deadly' to bees? Neonicotinoid pesticides don't deserve the label

‘Most deadly’ to bees? Neonicotinoid pesticides don’t deserve the label

While some activists blame the popular class of pesticides for bee deaths, research suggests there are many contributing factors. And ...
Words matter: Goodbye 'GMO'?

Words matter: Goodbye ‘GMO’?

The popular terms 'GMO' and 'genetically modified' contribute to the public's negative perceptions of genetically engineered foods? How can we ...
Activists fan concerns about CRISPR 'off target' effects in gene-edited crops and foods. Are they right?

Activists fan concerns about CRISPR ‘off target’ effects in gene-edited crops and foods. Are they right?

Off-target simply means an unintended effect as opposed to what researcher's are trying to produce. It's akin to side effects ...
Winemakers abandoning organic status for sustainability, improved taste

Winemakers abandoning organic status for sustainability, improved taste

The shift has been more common in France, where wineries have cited concerns about the environment and copper buildup from ...
Can consumers rely on the credibility of the USDA organic label?

Can consumers rely on the credibility of the USDA organic label?

The reliability of the USDA organic label is under fire by the Washington Post, challenging the practices of some large ...
Battle against 'fake news' about GMOs waged in developing countries, too

Battle against ‘fake news’ about GMOs waged in developing countries, too

A recent article co-authored by a prominent Malaysian economist propagated several popular myths about GMOs. A Malaysian scientist and communicator ...
20-year GMO report card: Biotech shrinks ag's ecological impact, increased farm income $167 billion

20-year GMO report card: Biotech shrinks ag’s ecological impact, increased farm income $167 billion

Genetic modification has had a dramatic impact on crop production, agricultural sustainability and the economics of farming, in the 26 ...
Does Consumer Reports mislead readers by promoting Non-GMO Project label?

Does Consumer Reports mislead readers by promoting Non-GMO Project label?

Consumer Reports claims to provide consumers with unbiased information about products and services. But the site is accused of exploiting ...
Biofortification: Is it the next 'Green Revolution' for more nutritious food?

Biofortification: Is it the next ‘Green Revolution’ for more nutritious food?

Plant breeders and biotechnologists are working to make crops more nutritious--a process called biofortification--to improve the diets and health of ...
Bette Midler criticizes Monsanto's seed patent contracts—and gets schooled by farmers

Bette Midler criticizes Monsanto’s seed patent contracts—and gets schooled by farmers

Bette Midler attempted to "educate" her Twitter followers about the contracts farmers sign with Monsanto, prohibiting saving and replanting of ...
Sustainability myth: Stanford misleads students about organic farming's reduced environmental impact

Sustainability myth: Stanford misleads students about organic farming’s reduced environmental impact

The promotion of 'sustainable' organic farming at one of the nation's top universities shows just how pervasive myths about conventional ...
10 GMO memes supported by science

10 GMO memes supported by science

For years, anti-GMO activists have churned out memes critical of GM crops and food. Now, scientists and science enthusiasts are ...
'Science mom' challenges meal delivery service Blue Apron's non-GMO food policy

‘Science mom’ challenges meal delivery service Blue Apron’s non-GMO food policy

Blue Apron's non-GMO policy stirs up a hornets' nest of reaction by pro-science moms on a quest to take on ...
How a Facebook journey changed one critic's mind about GMOs

How a Facebook journey changed one critic’s mind about GMOs

An anti-GMO, pro-organic mom became a staunch defender of modern agriculture following a social media encounter that prompted her to ...
Risky move? Inside look at why Russia has turned against GMOs

Risky move? Inside look at why Russia has turned against GMOs

Russia's decision to ban importation and cultivation of GMOs made sense from a political perspective. But it's a decision the ...