GE corn

Strain of GE corn prevents aflatoxin contamination

Aflatoxin, created by a fungus, "is one of the most potent toxins on the planet," says Monica Schmidt of the University of Arizona, leader of a study on how to avoid crop loss to the toxin. Researchers developed a GMO corn variety with small RNA molecules that prevent the aspergillus fungus from creating the fungus in kernels of corn.

Chinese company aims for U.S. sales of GMO corn seed

Origin Agritech Ltd., based in Beijing, has planted biotech corn seeds in a U.S. greenhouse, "an early step toward launching China's first GMO corn products in the United States," said Reuters. The next step, field tests of seed that resist insect and herbicide damage, are scheduled for the summer, according to the company.

U.S. prods China on ag-biotech reviews

At an annual bi-national meeting, senior U.S. trade officials pushed their counterparts from China for "a predictable, transparent and scientific" system for deciding whether to approve the import of genetically engineered crops. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that despite U.S. disappointment that more progress was not made at the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade discussions, the United States expects a Chinese agency to approve eight biotech strains at a meeting in December.

Court approves class-action lawsuit against Syngenta GMO corn

A U.S. district judge has decided a proposed class-action lawsuit against Syngenta will include half a million U.S. corn growers, but excluding those who planted two GMO strains from the Swiss seed company, says AgWeb. The lawsuit stems from China's rejection in 2013 of cargoes containing Syngenta's Viptera strain and the subsequent decline of corn prices.

In drought, South Africa may relax rules on GMO corn imports

In response to the worst drought in a century, South Africa will relax some of its rules on importing GMO corn so it can ramp up supplies of the grain, says Reuters.

Opposite sides of the GMO street

1. Environmental Working Group produces a GMO-free food guide. In a nutshell, it says, buy organic or verified GMO-free foods and steer away from food made with corn, soybeans, sugar and vegetable oils because most of the US supply comes from biotech crops.