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Analysis and Comment (18)

There is never enough of this golden beauty. There is never enough of this golden beauty. bradhigham

Creating 480 varieties of wheat is deserving of the World Food Prize

Improving wheat is a major challenge for agricultural scientists. The world’s population continues to grow – and so does its appetite. Sanjaya Rajaram, winner of the 2014 World Food Prize, used an innovative…
Canola fields: one of the battlegrounds of the debate over genetic modification. Canola fields: one of the battlegrounds of the debate over genetic modification. Michael Jones/supplied

WA’s court verdict on GM crops is a dose of common sense

In a landmark West Australian Supreme Court decision, a farmer growing a genetically modified canola crop has been spared the blame after his neighbour accused him of contaminating his organic farm next…
GM crops are grown without fuss around the world, just not the UK and Europe. GM crops are grown without fuss around the world, just not the UK and Europe. EPA/Shepherd Zhou

GM crops: time to counter the scare stories and relax barriers

Many people, including me, are pretty fed up with the continuing fuss about GM food and crops. Are they too dangerous to eat? Are they a hazard to the environment? Despite a “debate” stretching back to…
All is well with your blood. All is well with your blood. biologycorner

There may be plant DNA floating in your blood (but that’s OK)

If you believe this article from Collective Evolution, a site that claims to be “one of the worlds most popular alternative media company”, there is currently DNA from genetically modified plants floating…
If we are going to reduce hunger in the world’s smallholder agricultural communities we need to look past genetically-engineered crops. If we are going to reduce hunger in the world’s smallholder agricultural communities we need to look past genetically-engineered crops. Flickr/davidsilver

Feeding the world with a mix of science and tradition

The biotech industry has long sought legitimacy by claiming that its genetically modified crop technologies are “feeding the world”. However this relentless focus on increasing food production ignores…
Leading biologists argue the world must embrace GM plants. Leading biologists argue the world must embrace GM plants. Will de Freitas

Hacking plant ‘blood vessels’ could avert food crisis

Today’s wars are not about food, but not too far in the future they could be. The number of people dying of starvation has been falling for decades, but the decline in the numbers of hungry people is slowing…
The Slow Food movement has arisen to counteract fast food and fast life. The Slow Food movement has arisen to counteract fast food and fast life. French Tart

Forget fast food, slow down for better well-being

There’s an old saying, you are what you eat. If you look at the average Australian diet, we’re in trouble. The rise of the 24/7 society, unsocial work hours and an accelerating pace of life have led the…
The French paper linking GM corn and cancer in rats should have been rejected on a number of grounds. The French paper linking GM corn and cancer in rats should have been rejected on a number of grounds. Vermario

Genetically modified corn and cancer – what does the evidence really say?

French scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini caused quite a stir last week when he claimed he’d shown cancer in rats increased when they were fed genetically modified corn and/or water spiked with the herbicide…
Many people continue to worry about unexpected changes to food when it is genetically engineered. Many people continue to worry about unexpected changes to food when it is genetically engineered. asian farmer/Flickr

Frankenfood or crops of the future? Gaps in the perception of GM food safety

Humans have always faced tricky safety problems with food because we eat plants, which are the most ingenious pesticide chemists on the planet. Plants produce an amazing panoply of chemicals to deter animals…
Hot, dry Australia isn’t a great place to grow wheat. Hot, dry Australia isn’t a great place to grow wheat. AAP

Why would Australia want to grow genetically modified wheat?

The agricultural use of genetically modified (GM) plants has been a subject of disagreement, debate and bitter conflict around the globe. Sectors of Australian science experienced this recently when field…
Canola is one of two GM crops approved in Australia. Canola is one of two GM crops approved in Australia. Ngarkat

Busting the GM myths: a view from Greenpeace

The Conversation recently published an article looking at the myths about genetic modification. This article is a rejoinder to that piece, and a contribution to the ongoing debate about whether there is…
Feeding the world’s poor may not really be the main concern of companies that take out gene patents on crops. Feeding the world’s poor may not really be the main concern of companies that take out gene patents on crops. AAP

Is patenting crops really about feeding the hungry? A response

Michael Gilbert’s article starts with a title that poses a question - Will patenting crops help feed the hungry? Fair enough, except he then proceeds to provide an answer, which as the posted comments…
GM crops are used in Australia to thwart pests such as the Cotton Bollworm (which also destroys corn). GM crops are used in Australia to thwart pests such as the Cotton Bollworm (which also destroys corn). AAP/University of Melbourne

Will superbugs overwhelm insect-resistant GM crops?

A recent report in the Wall Street Journal spoke of rootworms in the US state of Iowa that had evolved resistance to a strain of genetically modified (GM) corn developed especially to thwart those rootworms…
GM is not being used to make fishbread Frankenfoods. GM is not being used to make fishbread Frankenfoods. Dave Lifson/Flickr

Top five myths about genetic modification

The Conversation asked CSIRO scientist, Richard Richards, to look at the top five myths about genetic modification (GM), and correct the public record. Myth one: GM is just haphazard, imprecise cross-breeding…
Despite attacks, CSIRO isn’t giving up on genetic research. Despite attacks, CSIRO isn’t giving up on genetic research. AAP

CSIRO: GM essential for health and food security

Just as medical researchers work to unlock the role our human genes play in disease, CSIRO investigates how plant genes can be used to boost the health benefits of food, increase crop yields and prevent…
Greenpeace’s wanton destruction of scientific research is a threat to farmers. Greenpeace’s wanton destruction of scientific research is a threat to farmers. AFP PHOTO/HO/GREENPEACE

Greenpeace’s GM vandalism bad for farmers, bad for science, bad for Australia

Early yesterday morning Greenpeace Activists broke into a CSIRO research farm and destroyed a field trial of genetically-modified wheat. I was appalled. “But it was only a field trial,” I can hear some…
Is our appetite or distaste for GM food palatable? Is our appetite or distaste for GM food palatable? iklash

Old versus new: don’t eat yourself up over food security

The debate between proponents of the use of genetically modified crops and opponents is not about the choice of the best available technologies to ensure food sufficiency in the developing world: it’s…
The world’s population will be 9 billion by 2100. How will we feed ourselves? The world’s population will be 9 billion by 2100. How will we feed ourselves? Herry Lawford/Wikimedia Commons

Time to modify the GM debate

FOOD SECURITY - Here’s how things stand. More than 500 million farmers produce crops and livestock that can feed nearly 7 billion people, and yet 1 billion still go hungry. It’s estimated that the world’s…

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