GM proponents say the technology leads to better crop yields and may solve food shortages and reduce pests. Opponents say GM is a threat to the environment and humans. So where does the truth lie?
Grassland in Uganda.
If species already modify their genes, why shouldn’t we?
A government-commissioned report estimated that South Australia’s ban on genetically modified crops cost canola growers A$33 million since 2004.
South Australia has lifted its moratorium on GM crops, while Tasmania has extended its ban. But the question should no longer be a simple binary of being “for” or “against” GM technology.
Laurie Nickel and her daughter Stephanie hold a protest sign during a union meeting after General Motors announced it would be closing its plant in Oshawa, Ont., that employs 2,500 people.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Lima
General Motors has announced it’s closing plants in Canada and the U.S. Many of the towns have built cars for decades or longer. A plant closing shatters people’s sense of belonging and identity.
Many people are suspicious of GM crops, but new techniques could massively increase food production.
Genetically modified crops.
Genome editing and synthetic biology are giving rise to new forms of life. But do these organisms have conservation value as part of earth’s biodiversity?
GM protest in Montpellier.
When the GM crop debate is confined to the human risks, it limits who can participate in the decision making and privileges scientists.
Science and technology has always helped us feed the world. GM has more to offer, if we let it.
Our modern crops need some help in the immunity department.
Andy / Andrew Fogg
Modern agriculture is synonymous with monoculture. That lack of diversity is bad news for plants’ natural immune defenses. Researchers are figuring out how to help plants fend off microbes – without pesticides.
We’re talking about a lot of seeds.
Great Divide Photography
The concerns about genetically modified foods are well known. But when we look at population and climate projections, what happens if we don’t use them to increase our food supply?
TTIP is coming.
The upcoming TTIP trade agreement could force EU to liberalise GM regulations such as labelling.
A rush and a push and the land is ours …
Monsanto an other biotech companies got caught short in the 1990s. But since then, the GM argument has been moving in their direction.
The genetically modified salmon (rear) grows twice as fast as a non-GM fish.
The US food authority may have approved GM salmon for our consumption, but it may take time before any appear in our stores.
New research suggests how we could prevent genetically modified organisms from surviving - and potentially spreading - in the wild.
GM: often assumed to be better.
The solutions presented by GM crops are rarely tested against the other options. Take a look at our philosophy of farming and it all starts to make sense.
Cotton on the move in Burkina Faso.
The GM debate in the developing world encompasses countries with very different priorities. Through the shrill battle of interests, the real agents for change tend to be overlooked.
New EU rules on GM attempt to unblock logjam that has hung over the technology in the region for most of this century. To work, anti-GM member states and Big Biotech will need to cooperate.
These little-loved microbes may be coming in from the cold.
We don’t trust bacteria and we don’t trust GM, so putting them together might be controversial. That’s exactly what we’re doing, though.
GM crops are grown without fuss around the world, just not the UK and Europe.
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…
The debate can get pretty shouty.
The UK Council for Science and Technology recently called on prime minister David Cameron to reassess EU rules on GM crops. Two days later the Observer published an editorial bluntly declaring: “There’s…