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Article

GMO food labeling has been required in the U.S. for a year. Have consumers noticed?

Michael Stebbins - Jan 31, 2023

Genetically modified foods have been on supermarket shelves since the 1990s, but they’ve only required a label for the last year. The USDA says implementation and compliance with the program have been “successful,” while experts suggest consumers aren’t noticing the labels. Take a look at the back of the cans and boxes in your cupboards and you’re likely to see some that say “contains bioengineered food ingredients.” A year ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began mandating labeling for foods that are genetically modified or contain GMO ingredients. The national standard was endors [...]


Article

Science says GMO foods are safe

Michael Stebbins - Jan 30, 2023

A new blog post from the Skeptical Raptor notes:   " When I was writing the articles about organic foods, I noticed that GMO foods are not safe according to the organic food lobby. Of course, there seems to be an incredible amount of pseudoscientific claims about GMO food safety, so I thought that I needed to put together an article that shows the science of GMO foods, and the scientific consensus is that they are safe. I know that many of my progressive friends are going to dispute this fact, but it’s time to let the science speak on this matte [...]


Article

Tanzania will ‘play a key role in GMO science despite the propaganda’

Michael Stebbins - Jan 30, 2023

Several African scientists who are knowledgeable about GMO science argue that contrary to ongoing anti-GMO propaganda the actual threat to Africa’s seed systems and agriculture is not GMOs but rather the fear of them. Dr. Daniel Maeda, a Tanzanian cellular biologist and biotechnology expert, is one such scientist. Dr. Maeda, who doubles as a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, recently stated on the BBC’s Kiswahili Service that East Africa should harmonize GMO regulatory requirements considering Kenya’s recent decision to lift a ban on GMOs and their importation. Dr [...]


Article

Does GMO coffee exist?

Michael Stebbins - Jan 05, 2023

Coffee is one of the world’s biggest cash crops, with coffee production supporting an estimated 125 million people along the Bean Belt. According to the International Coffee Organisation, some 167.2 million 60kg bags of green coffee will be produced in 2022/23. Today, there are around 120 identified species of coffee, which means there is an almost endless number of different varieties – especially when we consider wild varieties which grow naturally. Hybrid varieties, which are cultivated by researchers and agronomists to improve both yield and quality, are also becoming more com [...]


Article

With Kenya poised to embrace growing and importing genetically modified crops, Ugandan farmers and scientists bemoan their country’s inaction

Michael Stebbins - Jan 05, 2023

The decision last fall by newly-elected Kenyan President, Dr. William Samoei arap Ruto to lift his country’s 10-year ban on GM-food imports and cultivation —currently being evaluated by the High Court — has sparked a grassroots push in neighboring Uganda to follow Kenya’s president’s embrace of modern ag technology.   Scientists and farmers in Uganda, which neighbors Kenya to the west, have welcomed Ruto’s move, hopeful they will gain access to GM-seeds through the porous border. Uganda has lagged behind Kenya over the years in agricultural innovation. Farmers eager for the l [...]


Article

Exploring the ins and outs of plant biotechnology

Michael Stebbins - Jan 05, 2023

Since the beginning of agriculture, farmers have always been looking at innovative ways to improve the characteristics and traits of plants to specifically select for more nutritious, tastier crops with better yields. Chantel Arendse, plant biotechnology lead at CropLife South Africa, gives insight into plant biotechnology, and the importance of quality and safety. Improving crops is not something new, as the breeding process evolved, new tools evolved for the enhancement of plants/crops. Each year, millions of farmers around the world plant biotech crops for numerous reasons, but esse [...]


Article

How genetically modified (GM) crops have reduced global agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions

Michael Stebbins - Nov 16, 2022

Crop biotechnology has significantly reduced agriculture’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by helping farmers adopt more sustainable practices such as reduced tillage, which decreases the burning of fossil fuels and retains more carbon in the soil according to my recently published study1. Had GM crops not been grown in 2020, for example, an additional 23.6 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide would have been emitted into the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of adding 15.6 million cars on the roads. The peer-reviewed paper examined changes in farming practices arising from growing GM cr [...]


Article

Investigating attitudes to GMOs, genetic engineering and synbio in food

Michael Stebbins - Nov 11, 2022

Research suggests that negative perceptions of genetically modified and genetically engineered foods could be easing, prompting some to suggest that consumers in Europe are ready to move on from debates about so-called ‘Frankenfood’ and embrace the sustainability benefits that synthetic biology can deliver to the food system. Click here to read the entire article from Food Navigator.        [...]


Article

African farmers earned about US$282 million from GMOs in 2020

Michael Stebbins - Nov 07, 2022

African farmers earned an estimated US$282 million from growing genetically modified crops in 2020, a new study has revealed. The study published by PG Economics in the UK revealed that farmers across the globe earned an estimated $18.8 billion in additional benefits from growing GM crops. 1.5% of that income (US$282 million) went to farmers in Africa, while farmers growing GM crops in the USA, Argentina, India, China, and Brazil accounted for 39.1%, 15.1%, 8.1%, 8.4%, and 18.3%, respectively. According to the study by Dr. Graham Brookes, 55% of the farm income benefits in 2 [...]


Article

Historic Moment in Kenya as Government Lifts GMO Ban

Michael Stebbins - Nov 07, 2022

The long-standing ban on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Kenya has finally been lifted, marking a historic moment in the country's agri-biotech development. The Kenyan Government, through a Cabinet decision, has lifted the ban to allow efficient adoption of approved biotech crops and importation of GM foods. By lifting the ban, the Cabinet has further authorized open cultivation and importation of white GMO maize. In deciding to lift the ban, the Cabinet considered various expert and technical reports on the adoption of biotechnology, including reports from Kenya's Nation [...]