science is science
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science is science
Look it up in the dictionary. Okay, it might be a bit biased towards plant science due to it being my (desired) area of expertise.
Curated by Rico Randall
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Genetically modified ‘golden rice’ coming to Philippines by 2016 - AFP (2013)

Genetically modified ‘golden rice’ coming to Philippines by 2016 - AFP (2013) | science is science | Scoop.it

The first genetically-modified rice to be commercially available could be approved for production in the Philippines in two to three years... Officers of both the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine government’s agriculture department said the newly-developed “golden rice” had completed field trials, despite vandalism at one test field. 

 

Achim Dobermann, deputy director-general of IRRI... “At the moment, there is no GM (genetically-modified) rice officially released in any country,” he stressed. He said China was working on a pest-resistant variety of GM rice, but it was unknown when they would release it commercially. 

 

Dobermann said that depending on the length of the approval process, it could take a minimum of “two to three years” before seeds are ready to be distributed to farmers. Field trials of the rice, a genetically-modified organism (GMO), have been completed in the Philippines and it is now set to undergo tests to determine if it is safe to consume and propagate... This is despite an attack by activists on a test field in the Philippines in August that destroyed the golden rice planted there... 

 

Golden rice has been genetically modified to produce vitamin A, which is lacking in the diets of many people in developing countries, leading to weakened immune systems and blindness, and often resulting in death... Dobermann said many of the alternatives are too expensive or impractical for poor people, who often eat mostly rice.

 

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/05/genetically-modified-golden-rice-coming-to-philippines-by-2016/


Via Alexander J. Stein
Rico Randall's insight:

at last

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Alexander J. Stein's curator insight, November 5, 2013 8:26 PM

Good for those whom Golden Rice might help - children and pregnant women in poor households across rice-eating Asia. 

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Scientific consensus on GM crops safety 'overwhelming'

Scientific consensus on GM crops safety 'overwhelming' | science is science | Scoop.it
The Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC) has refuted claims from an anti-GM campaign group that there is “no scientific consensus” on the safety of genetically modified foods.
Rico Randall's insight:

ant-GM campaingners should stick to the less stupid arguments if they want to retain any credibility. Aha, that must be quite difficult actually. 

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The Irrational Fear of GM Food - Van Montagu (2013) - World Food Prize

The Irrational Fear of GM Food - Van Montagu (2013) - World Food Prize | science is science | Scoop.it

Farmers can now produce more crops in an environmentally sustainable way at a lower cost thanks to the efforts of hundreds of scientists over the past half-century. Seeds are developed in a laboratory and then field tested to enhance nutritional value or resistance to drought, disease and herbicides. Genetically modified crops are now planted on nearly a quarter of the world's farm land by some 17.3 million farmers. More than 90% of those farmers are smallholders who harvest a few acres in developing countries.

 

Society, the economy and the environment have benefited enormously from GM crops. India has flipped from cotton importer to exporter because of insect-resistant cotton. Herbicide-tolerant GM crops have stimulated no-tillage farming, reducing soil erosion and greenhouse gas emissions. Insect-resistant GM crops have cut insecticide sprayings by more than 25%—and as much as sevenfold in some parts of India. In developing countries, GM crops have helped ensure food security and bolster incomes for farmers, allowing parents to focus more resources on other priorities, such as educating their children.

 

Such remarkable achievements are only the beginning. Dozens of better GM crops are in the pipeline from companies, universities and public agencies around the world. Crops in development include virus-resistant cassava, a starchy root otherwise known as tapioca; nutritionally enriched rice that can help prevent blindness and early death among children; nitrogen-efficient crops that reduce fertilizer runoff; and many more...

 

These advancements are particularly timely given the environmental and demographic state of the 21st century. Between now and 2050, global population will rise by about one-third, to 9.6 billion from 7.2 billion, reducing arable land per capita... during a period of greater climate volatility, which may place dramatic new stresses on agriculture. The question of how to nourish two billion more people in a changing climate will prove one of the greatest challenges in human history. To meet it, we should embrace an agricultural approach that combines the best features of traditional farming with the latest technology.

 

Biotechnology offers an unparalleled safety record and demonstrated commercial success. Remarkably, however, biotechnology might not reach its full potential. In part, that's because outspoken opponents of GM crops in the U.S. ... In much of Europe, farmers are barred from growing genetically modified crops. Even in Africa, anti-biotechnology sentiment has blocked its application... 

 

Opponents of GM crops have been extremely effective at spreading misinformation. GM crops don't... cause cancer or other diseases. GM cotton isn't responsible for suicides among Indian farmers... In fact, people have consumed billions of meals containing GM foods in the 17 years since they were first commercialized, and not one problem has been documented... Every respected scientific organization... has found GM crops... safe...

 

Nearly everything humans have eaten though the millennia has been genetically altered by human intervention. Mankind has been breeding crops—and thereby genetically altering them—since the dawn of agriculture... Resistance to biotechnology seems all the more unbelievable considering that much of it comes from the same thoughtful people who tend to dismiss climate-change skeptics as "anti-science."

 

It seems to me that much of the resistance to GM foods isn't based on science, but may be ideological and political, based on fears of "corporate profiteering" and "Western colonialism." To note one irony: The extreme opposition to genetic modification has led to hyper-regulation of GM crops, which has raised the cost of bringing them to market. Now only multinational companies and large research entities can afford to comply with the rules. Smaller enterprises in developing countries are ultimately hurt much more than large conglomerates.

 

Anyone who cares about alleviating hunger and protecting the environment should work quickly to remove the bias against GM crops... These innovations have too much potential... to be thwarted by falsehoods and fear-mongering. 

 

http://www.worldfoodprize.org/index.cfm/24667/26198/wall_street_journal_column_the_irrational_fear_of_gm_food


Via Alexander J. Stein
Rico Randall's insight:

A great contribution to the fight for common sense. To sum up, being anti-GM is being anti-human.

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AckerbauHalle's curator insight, October 30, 2013 12:50 AM

Some remarks on GMOs and why they are safe to use from MARC VAN MONTAGU, 2013 World Food Prize Laureate.

 
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Washington state sues junk food lobby over GMO labeling bill - Washington Times

Washington state sues junk food lobby over GMO labeling bill - Washington Times | science is science | Scoop.it
Washington Times Washington state sues junk food lobby over GMO labeling bill Washington Times WASHINGTON, October 28, 2013—Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed suit against the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) earlier this...
Rico Randall's insight:

Whilst it's always good to have more information about what you eat, it's impossible to list every detail. How far do you go? Do you try to list the number of atoms in the piece of food? Do you calculate the internal pressure of an orange (actually that could be quite useful of it indicated how juicy the orange was)? It could be quite easy to label GM foods, but as pointed out, there isn't a good rational reason to do so. Crops that have been bred by humans have been changed genetically in thousands of ways. The only benefactor of labelling GM foods is the supermarket, who will use the label to mark up prices for "healthier foods", just like they do with low fat foods stuffed with sugards and organic foods here in the UK. Worrying about the over-use of antibiotics instead is a good idea! No party disagrees that this could be a good idea, and it would give anti-anythingmodern people something to keep themselves busy and happy.

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