Sustainability / GreenGenes

Food production needs are expected to roughly double over the next 35 years as the world population grows and people in under developed countries become more affluent and demand more calories. Healthy ecosystems are vital to the survival of all organisms. How can we grow crops without harming the environment? How can we balance technology and global food security? What is the right balance of organic and conventional farming? What role can genetics and biotechnology play without compromising the needs of tomorrow?

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Restoring soil health: Synthetic fertilizer use could be cut, nutrients restored with GMO bacteria

Restoring soil health: Synthetic fertilizer use could be cut, nutrients restored with GMO bacteria

[A recent study] shows how genetically modified soil micro-organisms can help restore nutrients in the soil to increase crop yield ...
EU may vote on complete ban of neonicotinoid insecticides this week

EU may vote on complete ban of neonicotinoid insecticides this week

EU countries are poised to vote on a proposal to introduce tougher restrictions on three neonicotinoids in the coming days ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
'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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...