Currently Browsing: GMOs

“The Failure of Science”: New paper makes a damning case against genetically modified food crops

"Doom and gloomers." That's what my father used to call people who talked about global warming not as a chance to work on their tans, but as something that ought to be keeping humankind up at night. He'd toss the newspaper aside, or change the subject at dinner. He still does, in fact. Fortunately much of...

Gates Foundation announces grants, including for pharma tomatoes

Blithe tomato: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced its second round of grants for global health research. Among the 81 projects is a $100,000 grant for creating a tomato to deliver antiviral drugs. (Because really, why wouldn't you want to develop something like that in a food crop?)...

Digest – News: Gates Foundation exec picked for USDA research post, Roundup Ready losing potency

Get Shah-ty: The Obama administration has nominated Rajiv J. Shah to serve as Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics of the USDA. (NYT Diner’s Journal Blog) Shah is the director of the agricultural development program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (bio) and has a...

Transgenic seeds are toast(ed): New report says GE crops have not increased yield

Couched deep within the earth-mother rhetoric of a recent Monsanto ad (which you can also see on the back cover of the current New Yorker issue, a $100K-plus ad buy) is a bold claim: Providing abundant and accessible food means putting the latest science-based tools in farmers' hands, including advanced...

Digest – Features: Hawai’i uh-oh, simplicity sells, anti-union strategizing

Hawaii plays canary: The genetically modified seed industry has become Hawaii's rising star, reports a cover story of the Honolulu Weekly; it accounts for about a quarter of the state’s total farm revenues, eclipsing every other commodity. In the past two decades, the Islands have hosted some 2,252 open-air...

While we were sleeping: Score one for the GMO lobby

Updated at 3:10 pacific to include the full language of the relevant section of the bill. Thanks, IM. Things have been busy around here lately, but that's no excuse. We've just been reminded that, like time, Monsanto stops for no man. Yesterday, eliciting not a ripple from the blogosphere, the Senate...

Digest – News: Anti-biotics, working for the (corporate) man, and the price of obesity

More squealing from the porkers: The National Pork Producers Council objects to federal legislation introduced Tuesday by Rep. Louise Slaughter (no pun intended, really), the only microbiologist in the U.S. Congress, that would restrict the use of medically-important antibiotics in livestock production....

Digest – News: The California conundrum, Monsanto at large, and tuna testing (not to be tried at home)

A new growth export market - the revolving door: U.S. government agencies are imploring foreign countries to bring their food safety regulations up to the (arguably pretty low) U.S. par, but the buck doesn't stop there: countries like India are being pushed to develop regulations on GM crops, industrial...

No comment, no say: lend your voice to shaping four big food & ag policies

Photo from Iowa, courtesy of factoryfarm.org. It's easy to get cynical about our ability to influence policy or policymakers - especially when we don't have lots of money or a well-dressed K St. lobby firm to throw around. But I'd venture to say that with all the change-making, democracy-taking action...

Digest – Features and blogs: No flies on me, tomato realities, Osterholm revolves

The 'fix' is in: Sources say that the Obama Administration will nominate Michael Osterholm to head the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service on Monday, in clear violation of its own anti-revolving-door policy. Osterholm is a longtime supporter of food irradiation, but that's not all - if you have any...

Parallel universes: A rice farmer’s point of view on U.S.-European GMO attitudes

By Greg Massa I’m a California rice farmer, but recently in Germany I was a rock star. Or at least that’s what it felt like. Oddly, my celebrity status came from a speech I gave to European farmers about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). I’ve spoken and written on this topic numerous times here in the...

Digest – News: Meat on the move, the chains of biotech, resources for organic

Drop it like it's hot: Brazilian beef giant JBS, which snagged Smithfield's beef business last March, abandoned plans to purchase U.S. National Beef Packing Co. on Friday. The JBS/National Beef merger was under anti-trust investigation by the Justice Department, which celebrated JBS' decision and claimed...

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