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GM Crops & Food

Colton O'Brien, Arathi H S
Intensive agricultural practices resulting in large scale habitat loss ranks as the top contributing factors in the global bee decline. Growing Genetically Modified Herbicide Tolerant (GMHT) crops as large monocultures has resulted extensive applications of herbicides leading to the degradation of natural habitats surrounding farmlands. Herbicide tolerance trait is beneficial for crops such as Canola (Brassica napus) that are extremely vulnerable to weed competition. While the trait in itself does not harm pollinators, growing genetically modified herbicide tolerant cultivars indirectly contributes towards pollinator declines through habitat loss...
March 12, 2018: GM Crops & Food
Scott Biden, Stuart J Smyth, David Hudson
Incorporating socio-economic considerations (SECs) into national biosafety regulations regarding genetically modified (GM) crops have opportunity costs. Australia approved the cultivation of GM canola through a science-based risk assessment in 2003, but allowed state moratoria to be instituted based on potential trade impacts over the period 2004 to 2008 and 2010 in the main canola growing states. This analysis constructs a counterfactual assessment using Canadian GM canola adoption data to create an S-Curve of adoption in Australia to measure the environmental and economic opportunity costs of Australia's SEC-based moratoria between 2004 and 2014...
January 23, 2018: GM Crops & Food
Rhodora R Aldemita, Randy A Hautea
The global area of biotech crops in 2016 increased from 179.7 million hectares to 185.1 million hectares, a 3% increase equivalent to 5.4 million hectares. Some 26 countries planted biotech crops, 19 of which were developing countries and seven were industrial. Information and data collected from various credible sources showed variations from the previous year. Fluctuations in biotech crop area (both increases and decreases) are influenced by factors including, among others, acceptance and commercialization of new products, demand for meat and livestock feeds, weather conditions, global market price, disease/pest pressure, and government's enabling policies...
January 16, 2018: GM Crops & Food
Graham Brookes, Farzad Taheripour, Wallace E Tyner
This study assesses the potential economic and environmental impacts that would arise if restrictions on glyphosate use resulted in the world no longer planting genetically modified herbicide tolerant (GM HT) crops. 'First round' impacts are the loss of farm level and aggregate impacts associated with the widespread use of GM HT crops (tolerant to glyphosate). There would be an annual loss of global farm income gains of $6.76 billion and lower levels of global soybean, corn and canola production equal to 18...
October 16, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Dennis Eriksson, Sevasti Chatzopoulou
Plant research and breeding has made substantial technical progress over the past few decades, indicating a potential for tremendous societal impact. Due to this potential, the development of policies and legislation on plant breeding and the technical progress should preferably involve all relevant stakeholders. However, we argue here that there is a substantial imbalance in the European Union (EU) regarding the influence of the various stakeholder groups on policy makers. We use evidence from three examples in order to show that the role of science is overlooked: 1) important delays in the decision process concerning the authorization of genetically modified (GM) maize events, 2) the significance attributed to non-scientific reasons in new legislation concerning the prohibition of GM events in EU member states, and 3) failure of the European Commission to deliver legal guidance to new plant breeding techniques despite sufficient scientific evidence and advisory reports...
October 9, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Ruchir Raman
Genetic modification in plants was first recorded 10,000 years ago in Southwest Asia where humans first bred plants through artificial selection and selective breeding. Since then, advancements in agriculture science and technology have brought about the current GM crop revolution. GM crops are promising to mitigate current and future problems in commercial agriculture, with proven case studies in Indian cotton and Australian canola. However, controversial studies such as the Monarch Butterfly study (1999) and the Séralini affair (2012) along with current problems linked to insect resistance and potential health risks have jeopardised its standing with the public and policymakers, even leading to full and partial bans in certain countries...
October 2, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Giovanni Tagliabue
The expression "Genetically Modified Organisms" was coined to indicate a group of agricultural products (mostly crops and vegetables), modified through direct DNA recombination in order to obtain useful phenotypic traits or to inhibit undesirable characteristics. But the border between rDNA ("GMO") and other biotech methods is blurred. Moreover, the ill-assorted group is frequently charged with having peculiar, negative characteristics: many activists, part of the public and a few social science scholars think that "GMOs" are all dubious, even inherently dangerous...
October 2, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Henry I Miller
In spite of the lack of scientific justification for skepticism about crops modified with molecular techniques of genetic engineering, they have been the most scrutinized agricultural products in human history. The assumption that "genetically engineered" or "genetically modified" is a meaningful - and dangerous - classification has led to excessive and dilatory regulation. The modern molecular techniques are an extension, or refinement, of older, less precise, less predictable methods of genetic modification, but as long as today's activists and regulators remain convinced that so called "GMOs" represent a distinct and dangerous category of research and products, genetic engineering will fall short of its potential...
September 21, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Ryan C Hill, Xiujuan Wang, Barry W Schafer, Satyalinga Srinivas Gampala, Rod A Herman
Endogenous allergenicity evaluation is a required part of the risk assessment for genetically engineered (GE) crops. Although maize is not considered a major allergenic food, a lipid transfer protein (Zea m 14) in maize grain has been identified as a potential IgE-mediated food allergen. Currently, the relationship between allergen exposure and risk of sensitization is not well understood. Hence, reliable quantitative methods are useful for determining the natural range and variability of allergen levels across multiple geographies and genetic backgrounds...
July 31, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Graham Brookes, Peter Barfoot
This paper provides an assessment of the value of using genetically modified (GM) crop technology in agriculture at the farm level. It follows and updates earlier annual studies which examined impacts on yields, key variable costs of production, direct farm (gross) income and impacts on the production base of the 4 main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialisation of GM crops has occurred at a rapid rate since the mid 1990s, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2015...
July 3, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Denise T Rezende de Cerqueira, Ariane C Schafer, Brandon J Fast, Rod A Herman
Agronomic characteristics of genetically modified (GM) MON 89034 × TC1507 × NK603 × DAS-40278-9 (PowerCore™ Enlist™), MON 89034 × TC1507 × NK603 (PowerCore™), and DAS-40278-9 (Enlist™) corn, a non-GM near-isogenic hybrid, and 2 commercial non-GM hybrids were assessed in a field study to determine if the agronomic performance of the GM corn hybrids is equivalent to that of non-transgenic hybrid corn. The MON 89034 × TC1507 × NK603 × DAS-40278-9 hybrid corn was developed through stacking of 4 individual transgenic events, MON 89034, TC1507, NK603, and DAS-40278-9 by traditional breeding and contains the cry1A...
July 3, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Yoko Asanuma, Takahiro Gondo, Genki Ishigaki, Koichi Inoue, Norihiro Zaita, Melody Muguerza, Ryo Akashi
Japan imports cottonseed mainly from Australia and the USA where more than 96% of all cotton varieties grown are genetically modified (GM). GM crops undergo an environmental risk assessment (ERA) under the Law Concerning the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity before import into Japan. Potential adverse effects on biodiversity are comprehensively assessed based on competitiveness, production of harmful substances and outcrossing ability. Even though imported cottonseed is intended for food and feed uses and not for cultivation, the potential risks from seed spillage during transport must be evaluated...
April 3, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Graham Brookes, Peter Barfoot
This paper updates previous assessments of important environmental impacts associated with using crop biotechnology in global agriculture. It focuses on the environmental impacts associated with changes in pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of GM crops since their first widespread commercial use in the mid-1990s. The adoption of GM insect resistant and herbicide tolerant technology has reduced pesticide spraying by 618.7 million kg (-8.1%) and, as a result, decreased the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use on these crops (as measured by the indicator, the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ)) by18...
April 3, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Kasturi Dasgupta, Roger Thilmony, Ed Stover, Maria Luiza Oliveira, James Thomson
The level of anthocyanins in plants vary widely among cultivars, developmental stages and environmental stimuli. Previous studies have reported that the expression of various MYBs regulate anthocyanin pigmentation during growth and development. Here we examine the activity of 3 novel R2R3-MYB transcription factor (TF) genes, PamMybA.1, PamMybA.3 and PamMybA.5 from Prunus americana. The anthocyanin accumulation patterns mediated by CaMV double35S promoter (db35Sp) controlled expression of the TFs in transgenic tobacco were compared with citrus-MoroMybA, Arabidopsis-AtMybA1 and grapevine-VvMybA1 transgenics during their entire growth cycles...
April 3, 2017: GM Crops & Food
L A Popoola, M A Otitoju, L Tanko
Consumption decision and likely expenditure are critical fundamentals that may ultimately shape the future of GM crops development and deployment in Nigeria. The present study constituted an attempt to examine factors of significance with bearing influence on these key consumer-led issues. Structured and pre-tested questionnaire were employed to elicit response from consumers. In all, 232 responses were analysed with Heckman two-stage selection model. The socio-economic data shows that majority of respondents (45...
January 6, 2017: GM Crops & Food
John Davison, Klaus Ammann
In this review, current EU GMO regulations are subjected to a point-by point analysis to determine their suitability for agriculture in modern Europe. Our analysis concerns present GMO regulations as well as suggestions for possible new regulations for genome editing and New Breeding Techniques (for which no regulations presently exist). Firstly, the present GMO regulations stem from the early days of recombinant DNA and are not adapted to current scientific understanding on this subject. Scientific understanding of GMOs has changed and these regulations are now, not only unfit for their original purpose, but, the purpose itself is now no longer scientifically valid...
January 2, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Agustina I Whelan, Martin A Lema
Gene editing technologies are a group of recent innovations in plant breeding using molecular biology, which have in common the capability of introducing a site-directed mutation or deletion in the genome. The first cases of crops improved with these technologies are approaching the market; this has raised an international debate regarding if they should be regulated as genetically modified crops or just as another form of mutagenesis under conventional breeding. This dilemma for policymakers not only entails issues pertaining safety information and legal/regulatory definitions...
January 2, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Fawzy Georges, Heather Ray
Genome editing of crop plants is a rapidly advancing technology whereby targeted mutations can be introduced into a plant genome in a highly specific manner and with great precision. For the most part, the technology does not incorporate transgenic modifications and is far superior to conventional chemical mutagenesis. In this study we bring into focus some of the underlying differences between the 3 existing technologies: classical plant breeding, genetic modification and genome editing. We discuss some of the main achievements from each area and highlight their common characteristics and individual limitations, while emphasizing the unique capabilities of genome editing...
January 2, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Giovanni Tagliabue
The EU regulation of agricultural biotechnology is botched and convoluted: the pseudo-concept of "Genetically Modified Organisms" has no coherent semantic or scientific content. The reasons of the paradox by which the cultivation of "GMOs" is substantially banned in Europe, while enormous quantities of recombinant-DNA cereals and legumes are imported to be used as feedstuff, are explained. The Directive 2015/412, giving Member states the choice to refuse the cultivation of genetically engineered crops at a national or local level, paves the way for a mosaic-like, Harlequinesque form of protectionism: nothing resembling a well-regulated free market...
January 2, 2017: GM Crops & Food
Tetsuya Ishii, Motoko Araki
The global agricultural landscape regarding the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops is mosaic. Meanwhile, a new plant breeding technique, genome editing is expected to make genetic engineering-mediated crop breeding more socially acceptable because it can be used to develop crop varieties without introducing transgenes, which have hampered the regulatory review and public acceptance of GM crops. The present study revealed that product- and process-based concepts have been implemented to regulate GM crops in 30 countries...
January 2, 2017: GM Crops & Food
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