View from the fence

Social, environmental and economic issues surrounding GM foods, and the latest news


New GM potatoes resistant to blight

Headline news for GM this week was a new study on resistance to potato blight, the results of 3 yrs of field trials at the John Innes Centre in Norwich.

The paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B compared non-transgenic Desiree potato plants with GM plants. When blight conditions were severe in 2012, it dramatically reduced yields in the non-GM varieties. Tubers from each block of 16 GM plants weighed 6-13 kg while the non-GM tubers weighed 1.6-5 kg per block.

The GM variety was Desiree with a gene added from a wild South American relative.

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January news round-up

Climate Change and Food Security: The Role of Biotechnology

Interesting thoughts on how GM crops could benefit Africa, with suggested actions including involving local people in decision making, public sector investment in GM rice and other crops which aren’t of interest to companies, and sharing results of regulatory tests between countries.

A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops

“Popular opinion masqueraded convincingly as science, and the science itself was hard to grasp. People who spoke as experts lacked credentials, and G.M.O. critics discounted those with credentials as being pawns of biotechnology companies.” A Hawaiian man goes on a similar journey of seeking the truth to mine. Continue reading