Articles on Genetically Modified Organisms

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Chinese authorities have called time on GM rice. EPA

China’s fight to feed itself is hindered by anti-GM paranoia

One of China’s major genetically modified food projects is now to all intents and purposes dead and buried. The expiry on August 17 of the biosafety certificates issued to strains of GM rice developed…
To rebuild public trust in GM products, safety claims must be confirmed by independent research. IRRI Photos/Flickr

Independent safety reviews will foster trust in GM technology

The topic of releasing genetically modified (GM) products into food and the environment is highly polarised. But are we making any progress with it? The debate is now so vicious and impatient that to have…
Golden rice, texture like sun. International Rice Research Institute

Golden rice naysayers ignore the world’s need for nutrition

Recently Zac Goldsmith MP – a former editor of The Ecologist, no less – branded the views of Environment Secretary Owen Patterson as “grotesque” after the minister called anti-GM campaigners “wicked…
Workers attend to the seedlings in a confined Golden Rice field trial. IRRI Images

Want a better world? You can’t look at GMOs in isolation

The Philippines (also known as the rice-bowl of Southeast Asia) has become a test bed for genetically modified (GM) crops. Proponents argue GM grains and vegetables can improve the life of farmers and…
Our attitudes to genetic modification are based on how we feel about risk, technology and the pace of change. John Serrao

How values affect our attitudes to genetically modified food

As Rod Lamberts reminded us here recently, when it comes to debates on genetically modified (GM) foods, arguing about the validity of the science is about as effective as descending to name calling. That’s…
Algal genes are introduced into tobacco cells that grow into plants. Peggy Lemaux/UC Berkeley

Tobacco re-imagined as a future fuel source

Tobacco doesn’t immediately conjure up ideas of fuel for cars and planes. But that’s precisely what a three-year, $4.8m project from the US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E PETRO (Plants Engineered to Replace…
It makes sense to exercise caution when we’re fiddling with genes in food. Food Ethics Council

Securing the safety of genetic modification

Most genetically modified (GM) crops are based on moving DNA from one organism to another to introduce a new protein. Now a growing number of genetically modified crops are based on intentionally changing…
The world doesn’t need genetically modified grains to feed the hungry - we have the food we need, but not the society. EPA/Barbara Walton

Golden rice is no silver bullet: hunger needs a political solution

Golden Rice has recently made international headlines following the Philippine Government’s decision to allow the plant to be released throughout its jurisdiction. Golden rice is genetically modified (GM…
Genetically modified crops have allowed pesticide spraying to be reduced by almost half a million kilograms in the last 15 years. Eric Constantineau

Genetically modified crops shrink farming’s pesticide footprint

Recent news reports claim one in ten Australians believe the world will end on December 21, 2012, based largely on internet gossip about the meaning of ancient stone carvings from the Mayans of Central…
Tiny humans would consume less and emit less, but who’s ready to genetically engineer their kids? Dylan Luder

No modest proposal: bioengineering humans for global warming

You know the situation is getting desperate when three bio-ethicists propose genetically modifying humans to reduce our environmental impact. In a bizarre paper titled Human engineering and climate change…

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