GMOs

In a key step, developer says FDA finds GMO wheat is safe to eat

After a generation on the sidelines, the wheat industry may be on the cusp of joining the era of agricultural biotechnology. Crop developer Bioceres said on Monday that the FDA has determined during consultations that its HB4 wheat variety, genetically modified for drought- and herbicide-tolerance, was safe to eat.

Economic recovery depends on ‘the path of the virus’ — Fed official

The U.S. recovery from the pandemic will depend in part on success in managing the coronavirus through steps such as therapeutics and a vaccine, the president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank told an agribusiness conference on Monday. Also at the meeting, two Trump administration …

UK’s Johnson opens door to GMO foods from the U.S., as he seeks trade deal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wasted no time, after officially exiting the European Union last Friday, in courting a bilateral trade deal with America, decrying “hysterical” fears about U.S. food standards such as genetically-modified crops, The Guardian reported. “I look at the …

Last-ditch fight against CRISPR deregulation in Australia

A government decision to deregulate gene-editing tools such as CRISPR met a last-stop challenge in the Australian Senate, with an organic farmers’ group expressing concerns that it will be “sacrificed for the sake of unregulated GMO tech.”

Dicamba revisited: Will corn be the next herbicide debacle?

Dicamba-tolerant corn seeds aren’t available yet. But if the seeds reach the market, and tens of millions more acres are sprayed with dicamba, there’s good reason to expect a repeat of the soybean disaster, in which the highly volatile weedkiller drifted off-target and damaged 5 million acres of conventional soybeans and an untold number of other crops.(No paywall)

Pigweed develops resistance to dicamba and 2,4-D

Researchers at Kansas State University have found pigweed that tolerates dicamba and 2,4-D, two herbicides that are often used to combat the invasive weed. Pigweed, or Palmer amaranth, is difficult for farmers to control, growing up to 10 feet tall and capable of producing 1 million seeds per plant.

Biotech backer Perdue blasts fear-your-food ‘hysteria’

An amorphous “fear-your-food” movement, fed in large part by the ceaseless churning of the internet, could sideline, deter, or even derail the use of such crucial agricultural tools as pesticides and genetically engineered crops and livestock, warned Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday.

Perdue on the EU: ‘They need to step up and buy’

The United States expects Europe to follow through on a promise to buy more U.S. soybeans, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday. At the same time, he said that America will not respect EU claims to the exclusive use of such food names as Parma ham or Roquefort cheese.

EU ruling: Gene editing is the same as ‘classical’ genetic modification

The relatively new field of gene editing is a form of genetic engineering, according to a European Court of Justice ruling that would make technology such as CRISPR subject to the same regulations as the “classical” genetic modification technology of the 1980s, reported BBC News.

Dicamba weedkiller damages nearly 384,000 acres of soybeans

As farmers adopt dicamba-tolerant varieties of soybeans, there are fewer complaints of damage by the herbicide in soybean fields. But reports from 15 state departments of agriculture still indicate 383,840 acres of soybeans were damaged by dicamba this growing season. In addition, incidents of …

Senate panel again calls for FDA labeling of GMO salmon

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $145 billion USDA-FDA funding bill on Thursday that would extend a ban on the sale of genetically modified salmon until the FDA requires special labels on the fish.

GMO pioneer to leave Monsanto after Bayer takes over

Robert Fraley, who won the World Food Prize in 2013 for his role in the development of agricultural biotechnology, will leave Monsanto following its merger with Bayer, ending a 35-year career at the company.

In GMO-labeling plan, USDA wants to let it BE

Food makers would be allowed to use a circular logo with the initials “BE” to identify foods made with GMO ingredients under a labeling rule proposed by the USDA.

EU justice official suggests relaxed rules for gene editing

Crops created by gene editing techniques such as CRISPR “might not need to be regulated by the strict European Union rules that govern genetically modified organisms,” said Nature, citing a formal opinion from an advocate general at the European Court of Justice.

Arkansas council set for Friday vote on dicamba ban

A legislative subcommittee supported the Arkansas State Plant Board’s plan to ban use of the weedkiller dicamba from April 16 to Oct. 31 this year. The bicameral Legislative Council is scheduled to take a final vote on the proposal on Friday, said the Associated Press.

Using CRISPR to create a ‘boys only’ cattle herd

One of the best-known scientists in the GMO world, Alison Van Eenennaam, “aims to create a bull that will father only male offspring” through a bit of gene editing with CRISPR, said MIT Technology Review.

Rural task force report highlights Internet, GMOs, and a better H-2A visa

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue released a task force report, commissioned by President Trump on the day that Perdue took office, that makes 100 recommendations to improve rural prosperity, including universal access to high-speed internet, a smoother-functioning H-2A guestworker program and a federal initiative "to increase acceptance of biotech products and open and maintain markets for U.S. farmers abroad."

Monsanto expects its dicamba-tolerant seeds on 40 percent of U.S. soy acres this year

The world’s largest seed and ag-chemical company said it expects U.S. farmers will plant 40 million acres of its dicamba-tolerant GMO soybeans this year, double the 2017 total and equal to four of every 10 acres of projected soybean sowings.

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