Global GMO plantings rose in 2016

The amount of GMO crops grown worldwide in 2016 was up from the year before. Increased GMO plantings in Brazil and the United States accounted for most of the rise.

USDA clears way for two GE potatoes

USDA's biotechnology regulators say that two genetically engineered potato varieties from J.R. Simplot, developer of the first GE potato to resist bruising, can be grown safely and do not need federal regulation.

EU approves import of keenly watched U.S. GE soy variety

In a decision that removed a roadblock to adoption of a new genetically engineered soybean variety, the European Commission approved import of the Monsanto soybean that is resistant to two types of weedkillers, said Reuters. The soybean went on sale in the United States and Canada this year surrounded by questions about whether there was a market for it.

Bayer-Monsanto merger, in doubt for now, has farm and food implications

Monsanto says Bayer isn't offering enough to justify a merger but that it's open to continued talks with the German company. An official at Johns Hopkins' Center for a Livable Future says a merger would "be a real shock to the food system" because of the potential of higher prices to farmers for seeds and agricultural chemicals in a sector undergoing consolidation, reported Marketwatch.

Canada OKs GE salmon, no label required

The genetically engineered AquAdvantage salmon is cleared for sale as food in Canada, the first food animal approved for the commercial market, said Canadian health officials. The salmon, which also was the first GE animal approved by U.S. regulators, will not be required to carry a label in stores to say it was genetically modified, said the CBC.

U.S. should broaden its safety review of new plant strains, says NAS panel

The National Academy of Sciences, pointing to the emergence of new technology such as gene editing and the sometimes startling effects of conventional plant breeding, said the government should conduct safety reviews of all new plant varieties that pose potential hazards, not only the results of genetic engineering.

Two big processors say they won’t buy new GE soybeans

Bunge and Archer Daniels Midland, two of the largest grain processors in the country, say they will not accept delivery of a new genetically engineered soybean strain from Monsanto because of marketing questions, reported Bloomberg. The European Union has not approved the strain, called Roundup Ready 2 Xtend, for import.

Farmers lean heavily on glyphosate; U.S. averages 13 ounces an acre

U.S. farmers use glyphosate more widely and more intensively than any other weedkiller, says researcher Charles Benbrook in a paper published today in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe. Benbrook says growers applied nearly 250 million pounds (125.4 million kg) of the chemical in 2014.

Bulk of lawsuit over Syngenta GE corn heads for trial

A federal judge has decided that the bulk of lawsuits by thousands of farmers against Syngenta over a genetically engineered corn variety will proceed to trial, reports DTN.

In agricultural espionage, even the corn has ears

The Justice Department's use of a secretive national-security court to prevent the theft of hybrid corn seed developed by U.S. companies indicates the gravity of Sino-U.S. competition, says the The New Republic.

Senate bill would label GE salmon, block beef imports

Retailers would have to identify transgenic salmon as genetically engineered and imports of raw beef from Brazil and Argentina would be barred under the USDA/FDA funding bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Dow will limit sales of GE seeds to avoid market disruptions

The developer of biotech corn and soybean varieties that tolerate 2,4-D and glyphosate pesticides said it is putting restriction on sales of the seeds to prevent the crops from moving into the marketing channel, said Reuters.

Dow had China in mind with US sales plan for new GE seeds

An official at Dow AgroSciences says the company decided to restrict sales of its new genetically engineered Enlist corn and soybeans after "extensive talks with U.S. grain leaders who fear roiling trade with China," says Reuters.

EU parliament would allow national bans on GE crops

Members of the European parliament approved a plan that would allow members of the European Union to ban genetically engineered crops within their borders even if the EU approves them, "raising the chance their use will remain limited on the continent," said Reuters.

Thumbs down for GE potato from largest fast-food chain

Fast-food giant McDonald's says "it doesn't plan to buy...the Innate potato," genetically engineered by JR Simplot to produce smaller amounts of acrylamide, a suspected carcinogen, when fried, says the Idaho Statesman.

More lawsuits over Syngenta corn barred by China

Seed company Syngenta faces lawsuits by at least 130 farmers in 13 states over its MIR 162 strain of genetically engineered corn, says DTN. A judicial panel in Charleston, SC, is to decide on Dec 4 if the cases should be transferred to a single federal court...

US approves GE potato that reduces suspect acrylamides

The Agriculture Department approved cultivation of the Innate potato developed by JR Simplot Co. and genetically engineered to produce smaller amounts of acrylamides when it is fried.

Monsanto, Dow sue to overturn Maui GE crop moratorium

Seed companies Monsanto and Dow filed suit in U.S. District Court in Honolulu to overturn a voter-approved moratorium on genetically engineered crops in Maui County, Hawaii, said the Maui Times.

Monsanto, Dow consider legal action against Maui GE ban

Agribusiness giants Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences are looking at legal options in the wake of passage of a moratorium on genetically engineered crops by voters in Maui County, Hawaii, says DTN.

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