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Posted On: Monday, 12/09/2013 9:42 pm
A: It is not surprising that some organic farmers would like to be able to use biotech. There is a push by some academics for biotech to be part of the “green revolution,” including organics. After all, biotech, such as Bt crops, is a form of host-plant resistance, similar to traditional breeding for insect control. Moreover, Bt has been used in agriculture for over 50 years and is widely used in certified organic agriculture. So the scenario stated above, wherein an organic farmer benefits from... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Sunday, 5/04/2014 4:17 pm
A: Bt cotton is cotton that also expresses one or more Bt proteins (protein genes isolated from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis) that are toxic to certain caterpillars when those caterpillars feed on cotton tissues; they have no observable toxicity to insects that are not caterpillars (moths and butterflies). Bt cotton has revolutionized cotton production because many of the primary insect pests of cotton are caterpillars, and therefore the Bt in Bt cotton controls these caterpillar pests so... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Friday, 5/02/2014 11:25 am
A: If you were to look for a common theme among most of the questions and responses on GMO Answers, your question would be it! GMOs have been in our food supply for almost 20 years, and GM ingredients are found in 70 to 80 percent of the foods on your grocery store shelves. If GMOs were not safe, we would have a big problem. Fortunately, science shows us that there is no evidence of harm from GMOs. GM crops are repeatedly and extensively tested for consumer and environmental safety, and... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Saturday, 3/01/2014 2:35 pm
A: Thank you for posting your question concerning pollination restrictions and the effects on GMOs in the U.S. Farmers can grow organic, GM and conventional crops in the same area, and in fact, many growers use all three of these types of farming practices on the same farm and do grow organic corn next to GM corn. In order to minimize pollen flow between these crops, growers utilize many management practices. For example, farmers may plant at recommended separation distances, time their... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Sunday, 5/04/2014 12:48 pm
A: In regards to intellectual property rights and seed patents, Drew Kershen, Earl Sneed Centennial Professor of Law (emeritus) at the University of Oklahoma, provides an in-depth analysis of this topic in his response; here is an excerpt:   "Plant breeders (whether individuals, companies, cooperatives, or universities, or USDA) invest significant sums in creating, developing, and testing new varieties of crops.  For seed varieties, it is not unusual for a plant breeder to invest... Continue Reading