View from the fence

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

January news round-up

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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.

Owen Paterson: Embrace GM or risk becoming ‘museum of world farming’

Paterson’s been speaking up in favour of GM again. As always, saying some sensible things but in a tone which I really struggle with – campaign against the luddites rather than stating evidence and acknowledging reasonable concerns and how we can deal with them.

Tasmania’s ban on genetically modified crops made indefinite

Tasmania is the only Australian state to have to a blanket ban on genetically modified organisms, but the Government will keep exemptions for scientific trials and has not ruled out lifting the ban in the future.

Lifting of moratorium on field trials of GM crops sought

Agricultural scientists in Bangalore demand measures to lift the moratorium on field tests for genetically modified crops in the interests of farmers and for the food security of the country.

Monsanto seed plant construction halted in Argentina

Activists filed a legal appeal against Monsanto’s GMO seed plant.

New rice competes with weeds, offers high grain quality to boot

This isn’t GM, but an example of what’s being done with conventional techniques.

2000+ Reasons Why GMOs Are Safe To Eat And Environmentally Sustainable

Interesting piece from Forbes which I plan to revisit with more time.

Greenpeace condemned for opposing golden rice

I went to the press briefing on this – it was fascinating and will lead to multiple blog posts

Author: Rebecca Nesbit

I am author of a popular science book 'Is that Fish in your Tomato?' exploring the fact and fiction of GM crops. In my work and leisure so far, I have trained bees to detect explosives, used a radar to study butterflies for my PhD, written a novel, taken the train from London to China, organised Biology Week, sold science jewellery on Etsy, and traveled to four continents with Nobel Laureates. Best off all, I've made lots of friends whose support I very much appreciate. Thank you! Please visit my website:

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