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Posted On: Tuesday, 7/08/2014 3:36 pm
A: What a great question! It even caused me to put down my breakfast of coffee and mixed GMO and non-GMO grain cereal. Note in passing that, worldwide, coffee is being devastated by coffee rust disease: resistance has been discovered, but one way to protect our crops from disease in the future will be biotechnology. An example of this is GMO blight-resistant chestnut, where a gene from wheat destroys the plant-damaging toxic chemical produced by the fungus, so rendering the tree disease-resistant... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Wednesday, 11/06/2013 4:07 pm
A: Earthworms, along with other soil macroorganisms, provide essential ecosystem services. In the most important book written on earthworms in the last 100 years, Edwards and Bohlen (Biology and Ecology of Earthworms, 1996) examined the potential impact of many agricultural products on earthworms. The authors rank the toxicity of active ingredients to earthworms using a scale of 0 (relatively nontoxic) to 3 (extremely toxic). Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup formulations, is ranked 0... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Friday, 8/02/2013 1:14 pm
A: Humans have been manipulating their own environment and that of other species closely related to them for thousands of years. These changes have given rise to domesticated and human-dependent animal species, such as cows and sheep, as well as the many varieties of dogs and cats. In the same manner, most agricultural food crops are very different from their “wild” ancestors because of human intervention. Intervention in the domestication of food crops has given rise to higher-yield, less toxic... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Monday, 6/02/2014 7:17 pm
A: All plants genetically modified to be insect resistant or herbicide tolerant undergo a risk assessment, which includes evaluating potential adverse impacts on nontarget arthropods (insects and related animals). Major groups tested include pollinators (e.g., honey bees and bumble bees), predators (e.g., lady beetles and green lacewings) and parasites (e.g., Diaeretiella rapae, an aphid parasite). In addition, soil-dwelling animals, like earthworms, isopods, Collembola, nematodes and protozoa,... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Tuesday, 7/08/2014 5:02 pm
A: When my children were little, I had to watch them suffer through chicken pox. It was very difficult. When I was a child, my parents almost lost me to a severe case of the measles. I share this because advancements in medicine have reduced health issues tremendously. If vaccinated, kids don’t need to experience these diseases anymore. The same goes for biotechnology and the remarkable advancements it has introduced to farming through the generations. Using pesticides and herbicides has always... Continue Reading

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