Biology Fortified, Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization devoted to providing factual information and fostering discussion about issues in biology, with a particular emphasis on plant genetics and genetic engineering in agriculture. Find out more on our About page.
Join us as we learn about agriculture and biology with Frank N. Foode™, your friendly neighborhood genetically modified organism.
Karl Haro von Mogel
15 Nov 2013
Bill 2491 on the Island of Kaua’i has had its share of controversy, both scientific and political. The bill, concerning pesticide use and genetically engineered crop research, was substantially modified from its original version, passed by the County Council, and subsequently vetoed by the Mayor. On Thursday, the Council was to vote on whether to [...]Karl Haro von Mogel
7 Nov 2013
Washington Initiative 522, which proposed mandatory front-of-package labels for foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients, or GMOs, came out of election night trailing by about 9 percentage points, with some predicting that the measure failed, while some proponents held out, saying that the election was too close to call. Washington State is a mail-in voting [...]Karl Haro von Mogel
31 Oct 2013
On Wednesday, October 16, the Kaua’i County Council approved Bill 2491, after much public discussion and council hearings. The final council hearing lasted 14 hours, and ended at 3:30 am local time. The bill, introduced by councilmembers Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum, establishes additional rules and regulations for the use of pesticides and genetically engineered [...]
2 Mar 2014
Last week the anti-biotech websites exploded with the news: “Roundup Weedkiller Found in 75% of Air and Rain Samples, Gov. Study Finds” and more scary-sounding titles like that.
My first response was to get a copy of the paper right away so I could read all about it and see the data. That would be [...]Frank N. Foode™
25 Feb 2014
Hi everyone! Frank N. Foode™ here. Wow, our Kickstarter has been going great, and I’m so happy to see everyone chipping in to bring me to life! We just reached our T-shirt Stretch Goal – so now anyone can get a T-shirt saying you were a part of this! (You can even get just the [...]Kevin Folta
21 Feb 2014
Over on Huffington Post’s Food for Thought Blog they have offered their bandwidth to a series of voices to expand on the epic science narrative Farmed and Dangerous. “Farmed” is a slick and cute, yet intellectually simple and unsatisfying indictment of the American farming system.
One of the guest bloggers is Robyn O’Brien. I like [...]
3 Mar 2014
While the article GMOs, Silver Bullets and the Trap of Reductionist Thinking has garnered some praise, I was hoping for more here and was left unimpressed. Written by Jonathan Foley, Director of the Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota, the article begins by stating that GMOs have come with “Big Problems”. He goes on to [...]Guest Posts
26 Feb 2014
Yesterday, Dr. Don Huber spoke in Maui as part of an event that kicked off a political campaign to ban genetically engineered crops from the island. The same day, a letter to the editor by Dr. Harold Keyser, a retired soil scientist from the University of Hawaii, appeared in the same paper that gave a spotlight [...]Anastasia Bodnar
6 Feb 2014
We’ve all seen those silly lists of so-called super foods. A quick Google turned up 450,000,000 results, with the expected offenders on the first page: WebMD, Dr. Oz, Oprah, and some womens’ magazines. It’s nice to imagine that we can cure all sorts of ills if we just drink some exotic berry juice or add a [...]
Talks & Interviews
20 Feb 2014
Do it yourself biology, DIY bio for short, is the idea that DIY projects don’t have to be just about crafts, home repair, or electronics. Promoters argue that the tools needed to take apart, alter, and put back together living organisms should be as widely available as other sorts of tools.Karl Haro von Mogel
14 Feb 2014
Bobbie Marie Gregg was named Miss Tennessee International in 2011, and was the 4th runner-up in the Miss International competition that year. Along the way, she became interested in food and nutrition, and decided that she wanted to become a registered dietitian. She is currently completing her internship at Lenoir-Rhyne University in western North Carolina, [...]Anastasia Bodnar
11 Feb 2014
Soybeans are the source of the 61% of the vegetable oil consumed in the US. (SoyConnection) That makes sense, because the oil is in some ways a byproduct of animal feed: “a 60-pound bushel will yield about 11 pounds of crude soybean oil and 47 pounds of soybean meal.” (NC Soybean Producers) Still, soybean oil has [...]
27 Feb 2014
I’m all for voluntary non-GMO labels. They’re a market based solution that meets a niche demand. They provide diversity in the market without raising prices for everyone. Still, I prefer to avoid them (and thankfully in the US, I still have the choice to do so) in large part because I don’t think they’re accomplishing [...]Frank N. Foode™
28 Nov 2013
Enjoy your food tonight, thank some farmers and scientists. Forget about the politics for a little while.Ariela Haro von Mogel
7 Nov 2013
Dear Mrs. Michelle Obama,
I am a dietetic intern with Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina writing on the subject of your reappearance on the popular reality show, The Biggest Loser.
I understand the concern over adult and childhood obesity, and implementing effective strategies to combat it. However, The Biggest Loser is not an appropriate platform [...]
Karl Haro von Mogel
Science & Society
3 Mar 2014
Last summer, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Dennis Gonsalves, who is the scientist behind the genetically engineered Rainbow and SunUp papayas in Hawai’i. I toured a papaya farm, and went to his house to spend the afternoon with Dennis and his wife Carol, and we talked about the development of the GMO papaya [...]marcbrazeau
28 Feb 2014
Let’s talk about those industry funded studies. You know the ones. The ones you hear about from anti-GMO folks in the comment section of any story about GMOs. According to those folks, the whole scientific consensus on GMO safety is based on industry funded studies. They say that the only studies that show that GMOs [...]Karl Haro von Mogel
24 Feb 2014
One year ago, I was contacted by a journalist in Washington by the name of Marco who wanted to learn more about the messy biology and politics of genetically engineered crops so he could write about them in his local paper. Part of his challenge was as the State of Washington was gearing up for [...]
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