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'World's first' farmer trial over GM crop contamination begins in ...

'World's first' farmer trial over GM crop contamination begins in ... | GM Regulations | Scoop.it
The trial is expected to last for three weeks and is likely to lead to regulations outlining boundaries between GM and organic farms, potentially reducing the land available for cultivation, experts said.

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Romanian agriculture: from harvest to hardest - The Diplomat Bucharest

Romanian agriculture: from harvest to hardest - The Diplomat Bucharest | GM Regulations | Scoop.it
The Diplomat Bucharest Romanian agriculture: from harvest to hardest The Diplomat Bucharest 'HoneySweet′ is being made freely available in the US, but those outside the US wishing to exploit 'HoneySweet′ have to obtain the required regulatory...
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"Growing" medicines in plants requires new regulations - John Innes Centre (2013)

"Growing" medicines in plants requires new regulations - John Innes Centre (2013) | GM Regulations | Scoop.it

Scientists say amending an EU directive on GMOs could help stimulate innovation in making cheaper vaccines, pharmaceuticals and organic plastics using plants. In a paper to be published in Current Pharmaceutical Design, six scientists from the US and Europe, including Dr Penny Sparrow from the John Innes Centre, compare risk assessment and regulation between the two continents... 

In the EU, plant-made pharmaceuticals have to be authorised in the same way as GM agricultural crops. In theory, agricultural crops can be grown by any farmer in the EU once approved. But for crops producing pharmaceuticals this would never actually happen. Drug companies would likely license farmers to grow these crops under controlled, defined and confined conditions... 

"Plant-made pharmaceuticals challenge two sets of existing EU regulations and to make progress in this area we need to make sure they are applied sensibly to allow pharmaceuticals to be produced in plants." Advantages of using plants to produce therapeutic proteins include the ability to produce large quantities quickly and cheaply, the absence of human pathogens, the stability of the proteins and the ease with which raw material can be stored as seed. This could be of huge benefit in developing countries where problems with storage can render vaccines useless... 

Just one farm growing 16,000 acres of safflower could meet the world's total demand for insulin. But potential cost savings are eliminated under current regulations, set up for GM agricultural crops not pharmaceuticals. The average cost for having GMOs approved in Europe is estimated at €7-10 million per event, compared to $1-2 million in the US. This helps keep Europe behind in exploiting the potential of these technologies...


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sonia ramos's comment, February 22, 2013 4:08 AM
Totally agree
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Genetically modified crops needed to 'feed the world,' says UK Government's chief scientific advisor - Independent (2013)

Genetically modified crops needed to 'feed the world,' says UK Government's chief scientific advisor - Independent (2013) | GM Regulations | Scoop.it

The case for genetically modified (GM) food is getting stronger because of its importance as a tool to feed a growing global population, according to the Government’s new chief scientific adviser. Sir Mark Walport, who is one month into his new job, said today that he will aim to offer ministers the best and most accurate advice on all aspects of science policy, including the introduction of GM crops.

 

“The issue is European regulation, which is that Europe grows remarkably little genetically modified crops so I don’t think this is something that is going to change overnight... But I think it is inexorably rising up the agenda again because as a technology it is showing its value more and more obviously in terms of the crops that are able to feed the world,” he said.

 

Public opposition to GM food, and the reluctance of supermarkets to stock it, has hindered the kind of wide-scale farming of genetically engineered crops seen in other parts of the world, notably North and South America. However, Sir Mark questioned whether the majority of the public are as opposed to the technology as some GM critics have argued. He also said GM crops should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

 

“For every genetic modification you have to ask: what plant, what gene and for what purpose? The case will be strong for some and not strong for others. Each case has to be decided on its merits,” Sir Mark said. “If it were possible for instance to develop a blight-resistant potato then that would be a valuable thing to do,” he said referring to a GM potato variety that is resistant to the fungal pest.

 

“I think the job of a scientific adviser is to set out the scientific case and that scientific case [for GM] it becoming stronger and stronger and stronger. But ultimately I’m very clear that my job is to advise on the science and it is then the politician’s job to decide how to use that. The final decision is a political decision,” Sir Mark said.

 

A two-year trial of a GM variety of aphid-resistant wheat is underway at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. Sir Mark said that it is unfortunate that a large part of the trial’s costs is being spent on security to prevent the field being destroyed by anti-GM campaigners. “The rule of law is absolutely paramount and in a sense you can say that it is a tragedy to spend so much on the rule of law for something like this,” he said... 


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Alliance slams GMOs in Africa - Ghana Business News

Alliance slams GMOs in Africa - Ghana Business News | GM Regulations | Scoop.it
Ghana Business News Alliance slams GMOs in Africa Ghana Business News gm-crops The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (FSG) has expressed alarm about the draft policy statements and guidelines for commercial planting of genetically modified...
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GMO labeling proponents now fighting their own labeling legislation on supplements | Genetic Literacy Project

GMO labeling proponents now fighting their own labeling legislation on supplements | Genetic Literacy Project | GM Regulations | Scoop.it
Citizens for Health, a lobby group for the dietary supplement industry and one of the chief proponents behind the GMO labeling movement, now finds itself fighting against legislation that would require them to label their products.
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The World Today - Activists get suspended jail sentence for GM wheat slash 19/11/2012

The World Today - Activists get suspended jail sentence for GM wheat slash 19/11/2012 | GM Regulations | Scoop.it
The ACT Supreme Court has imposed nine-month suspended jail sentences on two environmental activists for destroying the GM wheat crop Greenpeace activists Jessa Latona and Heather McCabe destroyed th
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2013 Laureates - The World Food Prize - Improving the Quality, Quantity and Availability of Food in the World

2013 Laureates - The World Food Prize - Improving the Quality, Quantity and Availability of Food in the World | GM Regulations | Scoop.it
The foremost international award recognizing individuals who have increased the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.
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Regulation of Biotech and Application of GM Seeds - AllAfrica.com

Regulation of Biotech and Application of GM Seeds - AllAfrica.com | GM Regulations | Scoop.it
Regulation of Biotech and Application of GM Seeds AllAfrica.com As Parliament debates the Bio-safety and Biotechnology Bill, we need an all embracing consultation approach for different stakeholders, serious research and a consensus methodology in...
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Genetically engineered plums may not find a willing market

Genetically engineered plums may not find a willing market | GM Regulations | Scoop.it
The patented 'HoneySweet' plum (Prunus domestica), developed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service in collaboration with the Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique in Paris and Cornell University, resists the plum pox virus, a plant...
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Genetically modified crops in Africa - Falck-Zepeda &al (2013) - IFPRI

Genetically modified crops in Africa - Falck-Zepeda &al (2013) - IFPRI | GM Regulations | Scoop.it

A variable climate, political instability, and other constraints have limited agricultural development in African countries south of the Sahara. Genetically modified (GM) crops are one tool for enhancing agricultural productivity and food security despite such constraints. 

 

Genetically Modified Crops in Africa: Economic and Policy Lessons from Countries South of the Sahara investigates how this tool might be effectively used by evaluating the benefits, costs, and risks for African countries of adopting GM crops.

 

The authors gather together studies on GMcrops’ economic effects and impact on trade, how consumers view such crops, and other issues. They find that GM crops have had, on average, a positive economic effect in the nations where they were used and identify future steps for enhancing GM crop adoption’s positive effects.

 

Promising policy initiatives include making biosafety regulations that do not make GM crop development prohibitively expensive, fostering intraregional trade in GM crops, and providing more and better information about GM crops to consumers who might currently be skeptical of them.

 

These and other findings in Genetically Modified Crops in Africa indicate ways biotechnology can contribute to economic development in Africa south of the Sahara.

 

http://www.ifpri.org/publication/genetically-modified-crops-africa


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GM crops defended - The Land (2013)

GM crops defended - The Land (2013) | GM Regulations | Scoop.it

Professor Wayne Parrott says those who oppose crop-biotechnology based on anti-science views should spend a day living in impoverished countries and experience first-hand what impact their activism is having on lives.

 

The University of Georgia Crop Science Professor... contributed to the damning, broad analysis of the now discredited Seralini rat-feeding study on GM corn that was released last year... the research was the worst example of an attempt to discredit GMs that he had seen during his plant breeding career... the French study was carefully orchestrated to be “as sensationalist as possible”, with a movie filmed during the experiment, accompanied by a dedicated book and media blitz. Sensationalist photos were also used (of rats used in the experiments), even though they had to violate animal ethics guidelines to get the photos... 

 

US farmers continued to love biotechnology but they were only about one per cent of the population... 

 

Another of the report’s authors, University of Canberra toxicology expert Andrew Bartholomaeus, said research papers like Seralini's and the extremist activism that uses them, leads to disproportionate regulation of GM crops. The former Risk Assessment General Manager at FSANZ said big commercial groups may actually gain an advantage, because they have the resources to comply with the regulatory requirements. But the real victims are the humanitarian crop developers... who have largely given up and moved onto other applications... 

 

Biotechnology crops that have been developed to help the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world, are sitting on shelves, because no one can afford to address the onerous and irrational regulatory requirements... “This is reprehensible... I have spoken with and have provided advice and assistance to scientists working on humanitarian biotechnology initiatives funded by large charitable trusts... These initiatives are developing solutions to address starvation, malnourishment and poor health of the most vulnerable people in the world. Publications such as that of Seralini... undermine the enormous benefits that can come from nutritionally enhanced or pest resistant crops developed specifically for these vulnerable groups.” 

 

Dr Bartholomaeus said the report’s nine authors decided to take action because they were “appalled” at the misinformation presented to the public supporting anti-GM “extremists”. He said they’re also “deeply concerned” at the number of people who would be hurt in the future if GM technology was blocked by “ignorance and groundless fear”... he “cannot begin to understand the motivations or moral compass of such groups”... 


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Socioeconomic Considerations in Biosafety Decisionmaking - Horna &al (2013) - IFPRI

Socioeconomic Considerations in Biosafety Decisionmaking - Horna &al (2013) - IFPRI | GM Regulations | Scoop.it

Genetically modified (GM) crops have progressively grown in popularity and are now planted in approximately 160 million hectares in 29 countries. In the discussions of biosafety regulations for GM crops and whether to approve such crops for commercialization, many countries, including some African nations, have gone beyond environmental assessments and are now introducing socioeconomic considerations as part of their decisionmaking process. There are, however, very few guidelines on how to ensure that this inclusion of socioeconomic considerations results in a robust and efficient decisionmaking process. Socioeconomic Considerations in Biosafety Decisionmaking: Methods and Implementation provides guidance to professionals involved in assessing the ex ante impact of a GM crop in the context of an approval process. Using the case of GM cotton in Uganda, the authors illustrate the evaluation of socioeconomic impact on farmers, the national economy, and trade.

 

The authors identify three crucial steps in making socioeconomic assessment part of a biosafety regulatory process, decisionmaking process, or both. First, select appropriate research tools and methods that yield robust results but that also take into account time and budget constraints. Second, evaluate the institutional setting of GM technology deployment. Third, allow for the uncertainties inherent in the assessment by using ranges of values for the parameters under evaluation, including yield, technology efficiency, and prices. These and other conclusions should provide useful guidance to policymakers and development researchers in countries that opt to incorporate socioeconomic considerations into their biosafety regulations, as well as their decisionmaking process for GM crop approval.

 

In a world afflicted by poverty, food insecurity, species loss, and ecosystem destruction, the question of how to improve livelihoods and at the same time fulfill international environmental commitments poses a tremendous challenge… Although it is true that ending poverty and ensuring food security are complex goals that require global multilateral actions, the implementation of specific strategies, such as the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops, has the potential to contribute to achieving these goals… This study provides a methodological framework that can be adapted and adopted to support the regulatory process for GM crops in the increasingly common cases of countries that are opting to include socioeconomic considerations as part of their biosafety regulation.

 

The assessment and approval of GM crops includes the biosafety regulatory process as agreed by signatories to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB).1 A responsible introduction of GM crops should follow the biosafety regulations mandated by each country, which must include a risk assessment prior to approval. Article 26.1 of the CPB states that the inclusion of socioeconomic considerations as part of this risk assessment is not mandatory, thus leaving entirely to the countries the decision of whether to include such considerations… 

 

http://www.ifpri.org/publication/socioeconomic-considerations-biosafety-decisionmaking


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Public sector should develop GM crops for seed companies, says leading researcher

Public sector should develop GM crops for seed companies, says leading researcher | GM Regulations | Scoop.it
As controversial UK trials of a potato genetically-modified to be resistant to late blight get underway, we speak to research leader and plant geneticist Professor Jonathan Jones about why he is in favour of an expansion in GM crops...
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Ten years in: taking stock of the biosafety protocol

Ten years in: taking stock of the biosafety protocol | GM Regulations | Scoop.it
Many challenges lie ahead for the Cartagena protocol on GM to be effective, reports Maria Elena Hurtado. (After 10 years, how has the #CartagenaProtocol changed global #GMO regulation?
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Leyre Albero's curator insight, October 21, 2013 4:23 PM

El protocolo de Cartagena regula el manejo de organismos modificados genéticamente. Entre otras cosas deben cumplirse unas medidas de liberación al medio ambiente para asegurar el menor impacto ambiental.

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GMO Battle Marks Choice of 2013 World Food Prize Winners | Environment News Service

GMO Battle Marks Choice of 2013 World Food Prize Winners | Environment News Service | GM Regulations | Scoop.it
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Hot potatoes! BASF drops GM spud plans in EU - BBC (2013)

Hot potatoes! BASF drops GM spud plans in EU - BBC (2013) | GM Regulations | Scoop.it

The consequences stemming from BASF's decision to halt the development of all its GM potato varieties in Europe: The ever changing story of Europe's relationship with biotechnology took another twist recently when the giant German chemical firm BASF announced it was halting the development of all its GM potato varieties in Europe... 

 

The BASF move comes at the same time when there appears to be confusion in Europe about what the Commission is going to do about the issue. Several recent reports indicated that the new EU health commissioner, Tonio Borg, might seek a freeze on the approval of new GM crops until at least 2014. But that doesn't appear to be the case. What Mr Borg seems to be trying to do is actually clarify and possibly liberalise the regulations on growing GM across the EU bloc.

 

Apart from the BASF potato, there is only one other GM crop approved for commercial growing in the EU - a strain of maize developed by Monsanto called MON810. That is because the EU's strenuous approval process has given new meaning to the phrase "slow food" - it took 13 years to get the go-ahead for Amflora.

 

The current rules mean that any crop that's approved at EU level can be grown anywhere in the Union unless countries have specific scientific reasons for blocking it. At present, eight countries - Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg and Poland - have used this provision to stop the technology.

 

Mr Borg now hopes to drive forward rules that would shorten the approval process by giving individual countries the right to approve or ban GM varieties. But the three most important words in the EU could stall the Borg initiative. France, Germany and Britain. These countries see the plan as a breach of the single market and that for them is more important than GM... 

 

 

 


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