Tuesday, June 15

Genetically Modified Foods

China Pushes Public to Accept GMO as Syngenta Takeover Nears
Genetically Modified Foods

China Pushes Public to Accept GMO as Syngenta Takeover Nears

Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University and two other Chinese colleges will carry out the survey, said Jin Jianbin, a professor at Tsinghua’s School of Journalism and Communication. The poll, sponsored by the government, will be carried out in tandem with a campaign on social media to broadcast basic knowledge on GMO technology, which is widely misunderstood in the country, Jin said. China is the world’s fourth-largest grower of GMO cotton and the top importer of soybeans, most of which are genetically modified and used for cooking oil and animal feed for pigs and chickens. But public concern over food safety issues and skepticism about the effects of consuming GMO foods have made the government reluctant to introduce the technology for staple crops. A 2012 trial of so-called Golde...
Tackling hidden hunger: Biofortified Genetically Engineered Foods Increase Iron, Zinc and Vitamin A
Genetically Modified Foods

Tackling hidden hunger: Biofortified Genetically Engineered Foods Increase Iron, Zinc and Vitamin A

Today, most of us do get enough to eat, in terms of calories, but we still may not be getting our essential micronutrients, such as iron and zinc. In other words, our focus has shifted from quantity to quality. This ‘hidden hunger’, a term used to describe dietary micronutrient deficiencies, must be taken care of. The answer, find researchers, is biofortification. Golden rice is a variety of rice produced through genetic engineering to biosynthesise beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, in the edible parts of rice. The most common micronutrient deficiencies are iron and zinc, with 2 billion people affected worldwide with anaemia (30% of the world’s population), says the World Health Organization. Vitamin A deficiency is not far behind. This triad, vital to our health, especially f...
How Cargill is addressing GMO concerns, and looking to Asia for growth
Genetically Modified Foods

How Cargill is addressing GMO concerns, and looking to Asia for growth

American agribusiness Cargill has its sights set on moving up the food chain and focusing on the aquaculture and meat segments, with Asia expected to be a key market. Since the company spent $1.5 billion acquiring Norwegian salmon-feed manufacturer EWOS in 2015, it has realigned its portfolio to focus on its core food production business, Cargill Chairman and CEO David MacLennan told CNBC's "Managing Asia." "(T)he rate of growth of fish consumption in the world greatly exceeds pork consumption in the world. We see that trend and we're getting on it," MacLennan said. MacLennan expressed interest in the prospects Asia offers, adding that Cargill has made recent investments in the region. Among them are a chocolate facility in Indonesia, feed mills in Vietnam and South Korea, and joi...
The Future of Food: To GMO or Not To GMO?
Genetically Modified Foods

The Future of Food: To GMO or Not To GMO?

An organic diet has never been more in style than it is right now, with millions of consumers willing to shell out extra dollars for organic foods. Most of us have a vague idea that organic is better because it’s more natural and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and pesticides. But what does “natural” even mean? The line is harder to draw than we may think. How different is food from GM crops as compared to food from non-GM crops? Humans have been “genetically modifying” plants and animals for thousands of years. Five hundred years ago, say a farmer noticed some corn was a little sweeter. To replicate that flavor, the farmer might select those seeds for the next crop. That new trait came about by random genetic mutation, and establishing a noticeably sweeter flavor us...
Consumers Opposed to GM don’t Understand Plant Breeding
Genetically Modified Foods

Consumers Opposed to GM don’t Understand Plant Breeding

RED DEER — Consumer concern about the safety of genetically modified food stems from lack of understanding about plant breeding regardless of type, says an American corn breeder and professor at Cornell University. Margaret Smith said people have been modifying crops through domestication, selection and cross breeding for about 200 years, and genetic modification is only the newest tool available to achieve it. She referred to a 2001 U.S. survey in which more than 60 percent of respondents said they had never eaten a traditionally crossbred fruit or vegetable, and more than 64 percent thought they had never eaten a GM fruit or vegetable. As for GM content, there are few examples of fresh produce on the market today beyond some varieties of sweet corn, although a non-browning apple...
Future Of Genetically Modified Food May Lie In New Apple
Genetically Modified Foods

Future Of Genetically Modified Food May Lie In New Apple

Would you buy a genetically modified apple that resists browning for weeks rather than only a few minutes after being sliced? The answer may come before the next Arctic apple begins to discolor. Apples turn brown when their flesh is exposed to a certain enzyme, such as when the skin is broken or bruised. Okanagan reduced that enzyme and claims the sliced apples can last up to three weeks without oxidizing. While the company acknowledges there’s nothing "wrong" with browning, browned fruit is more likely to be thrown away, especially by children, according to the company. To Jenkins, the Arctic apple experiment is more about putting a positive spin on GMOs. He said companies genetically altering food are battling a perception by a large chunk of the population that GMOs are bad for so...
Genetically Modified Foods

GMO Tobacco Plants Reveal the Promise of Hyper-Productive Food Crops

Researchers specializing in genetic modification have developed a super­powered strain of tobacco plants that grow substantially faster and more efficiently than conventional crops, according to a new report published in the journal Science. How did the experiment work? The researchers inserted genes into the DNA of tobacco plants that they believed would increase three specific proteins that are involved in photosynthesis, the process of turning sunlight into energy. "The objective was simply to boost the level of three proteins already present in tobacco," Long explained. By boosting these proteins, the researchers reasoned that the plants would grow more with the same amount of sunlight. Once they had produced multiple modified tobacco plants, they selected the three most producti...
Genetically Modified Foods

3 GMO Potatoes Get USDA Approval

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture formally approved two new types of genetically engineered potatoes, both of which were developed by Simplot, the Idaho-based spud giant. It's hardly an exaggeration to say that over the past two decades, the agriculture industry in the U.S. has wholeheartedly embraced GMO crops with gusto. Almost all of the soy and corn grown in the U.S.—upwards of 90 percent for both crops—is genetically modified. Same goes for canola. More than half of sugar beets are also grown from GMO seeds. The three new varieties—Ranger Russet, Atlantic and Russet Burbank—all follow that first generation in that they are designed to minimize bruising and black spots, as well as reduce the amount of a chemical that is potentially carcinogenic that develops when pota...