Put USDA in charge of gene-edited livestock, says hog industry

The U.S. hog industry is going to the White House in its campaign for the USDA to supplant FDA as the federal regulator of gene-edited food animals, leaders said on Tuesday. The industry says American preeminence in science and agricultural exports will suffer if gene-edited advances such as …

Asian wheat buyers aren’t phased by U.S. discovery of rogue GMO wheat

Unlike earlier incidents, Asian customers for wheat grown in the U.S. Northwest did not bat an eye at the USDA announcement that GMO wheat was found growing in the wild in Washignton state. "At this point there is no trade disruption and we do not expect any," said U.S. Wheat Associates, the export promotion arm of the wheat industry, on Monday.

USDA biotech rules nearing update, says undersecretary

The USDA soon will propose a modernized regulatory framework for agricultural biotechnology, said Undersecretary Greg Ibach on Monday, the third attempt since 2008 to overhaul rules that were written at the dawn of genetic engineering. Ibach told a farm conference that he could not discuss the …

Despite tighter rules, dicamba damages 1.1 million acres of soybeans – report

University weed scientists estimate at least 1.2 percent of U.S. soybean plantings have been damaged accidentally by the weedkiller dicamba despite stricter limits on its use this year, said a University of Missouri report. Damage was highest in Illinois, the No. 1 soybean-growing state, where 500,000 acres of the U.S. total of 1.1 million damaged acres are located. Arkansas was second with 300,000 damaged acres.

Handful of GMO wheat plants found in southern Alberta

Canadian regulators are puzzled by the discovery of seven genetically modified wheat stalks in southern Alberta that contain herbicide-tolerant genes, said the Manitoba Cooperator, but they say there's no sign of GMO wheat in the country's seed or wheat supplies. No country has approved GMO wheat for commercial use. Japan suspended purchases of Canadian wheat on Friday until it is certain there are no GMOs in the grain, reported Global News.

Dicamba damage increases; retailers says it’s difficult to control

Most of the pesticide retailers who took part in an Illinois trade association poll reported damage from the weedkiller dicamba even when the weedkiller was sprayed in good conditions, says the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting (MCIR). Separately, the University of Missouri said the herbicide was blamed for damage to 3.6 million acres of soybeans as of Oct. 15, a 16 percent increase from its Aug 10 tally.

Researchers develop bananas resistant to monster fungus

Researchers have developed the first genetically modified version of a Cavendish banana that is resistant to the devastating soil-borne fungus known as Panama disease. The fungus, or Fusarium wilt tropical race 4 (TR4), can stay in the soil for 40 years and doesn’t respond to chemical sprays. It has destroyed Cavendish — the main commercial banana variety — plantations around the world, and is fast spreading across Asia.

Americans less accepting of GMO food than GMO meds

Two Purdue researchers say Americans are far more skeptical of genetically engineered crops and livestock than a GMO solution to a health risk, such as the mosquito-spread Zika virus. A survey of 964 people found that 78 percent would support release of GMO mosquitoes to stop Zika while 44 percent would accept GMO livestock, 49 percent would accept GMO crops and 48 percent would accept GMO produce.

Lawsuit calls for USDA to release study on QR codes and GMO food labeling

The anti-GMO group Center for Food Safety filed suit against the USDA to force release of a study on the impact of using digital disclosures such as QR codes to identify foods made with GMO ingredients. "In the United States, there has never been a food labeling requirement met by QR codes," says the center, which prefers a written label on food packages.

Impossible Foods defends its plant-based burger

In a public letter, the chief executive officer of Impossible Foods defended the company’s methods of producing a popular plant-based burger that is designed to mimic meat. The method includes genetically engineering algae to produce a soy protein, which the FDA has said could raise allergen concerns.