New Zealand scientists trialing a genetically modified grass in the United States say the plant could prove a game-changer for agriculture.
The harvest of cotton trials in the Ord Valley started in earnest this week with the hand-picking of several varieties for analysis.
To meet the expected increase in food demand globally by 2050, researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have devised a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)-based technique to collect the physical traits of organisms through firing pulse laser lights at surfaces of plants: stalks, ears, and leaves.
The first genetically-modified animal for human consumption could be arriving in grocery stores across the United States as early as next year. Read more
The USDA is proposing three symbols that could indicate a product containing genetically modified ingredients, including this smiling sun. Food companies could also opt for a scannable QR code or a simple line of text.
Though it’s not yet clear which highly processed ingredients will be labeled as genetically modified foods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released possible designs for those labels.
Animal geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam has six calves that are rather unusual. Most people might not pick up on what’s odd, but close inspection, and knowledge of bovine genetics, reveals that none of the calves have horns despite being a mix of breeds that typically have them. Even more surprising? The calves’ hornless state wasn’t bred into them — Van Eenennaam and her colleagues edited their genes using the new CRISPR technology.
A biotechnology company is upgrading a defunct fish farm where it plans to grow AquAdvantage Salmon — the first genetically engineered animal for human consumption as food. Read more
Growing genetically modified insect-resistant corn in the United States has dramatically reduced insecticide use and created a “halo effect” that also benefits farmers raising non-GM and organic crops, new research shows. Read more
The cost of current biotech industry regulations might not be obvious to consumers, but it’s clear to researchers. Read more
PIRACICABA, Brazil, March 2 (Reuters) – Brazilian sugar mills looking to grow the world’s first variety of genetically modified (GM) sugarcane have planted an initial area of 400 hectares (988 acres), according to the research firm behind the project.
In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the green light to a version of the plant Camelina sativa, an important oilseed crop that had been genetically engineered using CRISPR to produce enhanced omega-3 oil. What was interesting about this approval was that the USDA did not ask that the inventors of the plant endure the usual regulatory hoops required to sell biotech crops. The next month, a drought-tolerant soybean variety developed with CRISPR also got a quick pass from the USDA. Read more
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Oct. 5 announced it is withdrawing a proposed rule to revise the agency’s biotechnology regulations and will re-engage with stakeholders to determine the most effective, science-based approach for regulating the products of modern biotechnology while protecting plant health.
Some might consider the scraggly vines often spotted snaking up porch trellises in New York’s Schoharie County a nuisance.
Can genetic modification appeal to consumers? A new apple will test the market.
U.S. synthetic-biology conglomerate plans to begin marketing genetically modified apples this fall but won’t label them as GMOs.
US firm AquaBounty Technologies says that its transgenic fish has hit the market after a 25-year wait.
Genetically engineered salmon has reached the dinner table. AquaBounty Technologies, the company in Maynard, Massachusetts, that developed the fish, announced on 4 August that it has sold some 4.5 tonnes of its hotly debated product to customers in Canada.
According to the report, Nebraska corn growers planted 9.8 million acres, down 1 percent from last year. Biotechnology varieties were used on 96 percent of the area planted, up 1 percentage point from a year ago. Growers expect to harvest 9.5 million acres for grain, which is down 1 percent from last year.
Statewide, soybean planted area is estimated at 5.7 million acres, up 10 percent from last year’s total and a record high. Of the acres planted, 94 percent were planted with genetically modified, herbicide resistant seed, down 2 percentage points from a year ago. Acres expected to be harvested are 5.65 million, up 10 percent from a year earlier.
Nationwide, the USDA reported that corn planted area for all purposes in 2017 is estimated at 90.9 million acres, down 3 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acres are down or unchanged in 38 of the 48 estimating states. Area harvested for grain, at 83.5 million acres, is down 4 percent from last year.
Soybean planted area for 2017, nationwide, is estimated at a record high 89.5 million acres, up 7 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage intentions are up or unchanged in 24 of the 31 estimating states.
The USDA reported that winter wheat seeded in the fall of 2016 totaled 1.11 million acres, down 19 percent from last year and a record low. Harvested acreage is forecast at 1 million acres, down 24 percent from a year ago.
Along with declining wheat acres, Nebraska wheat farmers are also having to deal with a wheat virus outbreak that has reached epidemic levels and has been damaging fields and yields in the southern Nebraska Panhandle, according to the Associated Press. The Nebraska Wheat Association earlier this month reported that as many as 85 percent of southern Panhandle fields have been affected by the virus.
Nationwide, all wheat planted area for 2017 is estimated at 45.7 million acres, down 9 percent from 2016. This represents the lowest all wheat planted area on record since records began in 1919. The 2017 winter wheat planted area, at 32.8 million acres, is down 9 percent from last year. Of this total, about 23.8 million acres are hard red winter.
For other Nebraska crops, the USDA reported that:
— Alfalfa hay acreage to be cut for dry hay is at 770 thousand acres, up 3 percent from 2016. Other hay acreage to be cut for dry hay is 1.70 million acres, unchanged from last year.
— Sorghum acreage planted and to be planted, at 140 thousand acres, is down 30 percent from a year ago. The area to be harvested for grain, at 110 thousand acres, is down 37 percent from last year.
— Oats planted area is estimated at 115 thousand acres, down 15 percent from the previous year. Area to be harvested for grain, at 25 thousand acres, is unchanged from a year ago.
— Dry edible bean planted acreage is estimated at 150 thousand acres, up 9 percent from last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 139 thousand acres, up 14 percent from the previous year.
— Proso millet plantings of 130 thousand acres are up 37 percent from a year ago.
— Sugarbeet planted acres, at 49.7 thousand, are up 4 percent from last year.
— Oil sunflower acres planted are estimated at 55 thousand, up 90 percent from last year. Non-oil sunflower planted acreage is estimated at 6 thousand acres, down 52 percent from a year ago and a record low.
— Dry edible pea estimated planted acres are 45 thousand acres, down 18 percent from last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 42 thousand, down 19 percent from the previous year.
-Written by Robert Pore in The Grand Island Independent. See original article link here.
Two federal agencies charged with oversight of genetically engineered crops and animals are being urged by environmental, food safety and other entities to substantially strengthen their proposed rules to protect farmers and the public.
The statement from the Center for Food Safety and Friends of the Earth U.S. in Washington D.C. came on June 19 as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded public comment periods on proposed changes to oversight of GE crops and animals.
USDA is in the process of revising its three decade-old rules governing GE plants and other GE organisms. The two environmental entities contend that while USDA has more authority to strengthen oversight, its proposed new rules would weaken it.
USDA spokesman Rick Coker said the agency would carefully consider all comments received on the issue through June 19, along with those submitted at public meetings held in Davis, CA, Kansas City MO, and Riverdale, MD. As they decide how or whether to finalize the proposed revised regulations.
“We are in the early stages of analyzing those comments, including tallying the number of comments received,” Coker said. “Until we carefully evaluate the comments, it’s unclear when we will reach a decision on how or whether to finalize the proposed revisions.”
“The haphazard and negligent regulation of agricultural biotechnology has been nothing short of a disaster for the public and the environment,” said George Kimbrell, legal director at Center for Food Safety. “While USDA should be protecting farmers and the environment, it has instead turned a blind eye to the harms that GE crops cause. Unfortunately, the proposed rules would make things worse, not better, with less oversight, not more.”
The proposed USDA rules would continue to permit large increases in the use of harmful chemicals with new herbicide-resistant GE crops, and do nothing to stop the epidemic of resistant super weeds or crop-damaging herbicide drift that plagues farmers, according to Center for Food Safety. Transgenic contamination would continue unchecked, harming conventional and organic growers, and newer GE crops like grasses and trees would create even greater novel risks, the center said.
Kimbrell said he expected USDA to complete regulation changes by year’s end.
Such changes come under guidelines allotted to administrative federal agencies, to pass and executive their own laws, which are known as administrative laws.
Along with the USDA comment period, FDA had requested comments on how to regulation GE animals and GE plants developed with new genetic engineering techniques. FDA has never issued rules for assessing genetically engineered animals. Instead, Center for Food Safety contends, GE animals are reviewed under entirely inappropriate regulations designed for new animal drugs. Last year, for example, the DFA approved genetically engineered salmon using its outdated animal drug rules, an approval Center for Food Safety is currently challenging in court.
On the other side of the proposed changes in federal rules governing GE animals and drops is the Biotechnology innovation Organization, an umbrella group, in Washington D.C. , that identifies itself as the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology firms, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organization in the United States and more than 30 other countries.
Members include Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences Inc., Dupont Corp., and Monsanto.
On June 5, BIO issued a news release citing a study from the British firm PG Economics, contending over the past 20 years biotech crops have increased agriculture’s environmental sustainability, while providing significant economic benefits. According to the PG Economics study the use of biotech/genetically modified seeds has allowed farmers to adopt more sustainable practices like reduced tillage, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The report contends that without biotech crops, billions more kilograms of carbon dioxide would have been emitted in 2015 alone-the equivalent of adding 11.9 million cars to the road. It also states that for farmers using GM seeds from 1996 to 2015, the net global farm income benefit due to GM seed was $167.7 billion.
-Written by Margaret Bauman in The Cordova Times. See original article link here.