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.

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Biology Fortified has been an early pioneer in providing accurate and relevant science-based information and a beacon for many. It has become increasingly clear that even more outreach efforts are needed to create a better informed and engaged public. We have many public resources and programs that we are working on for 2015, and we will need to raise $25,0000 to hire staff to make them all possible. We are asking for donations and signatories for our letter. Please consider becoming one of our Luminaria!

Visit the Luminaria campaign page to donate and to view the current list of signatories.

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News

April Fools: FoIA requests expand to all published academic GMO research

By Karl Haro von MogelFOIA2000
1 Apr 2015
7 Comments

Editor’s Note: The following post was part of our 2015 April Fools prank on our readers. A lot of people had fun reading and joking about it. If you were worried about so many researchers being harassed you can now relax, but if you were a graduate student looking forward to a free weekly buffet […]

Plushies have arrived!

By Karl Haro von Mogelplushieparty
18 Feb 2015
3 Comments

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for. The Frank N. Foode™ and Lanakila Ā. Papaya™ plushies have arrived! I was just sending an email yesterday to get an update on the status of our shipping, and before the manufacturer could get back to me, I got a phone call from our mailbox. A pallet […]

USRTK wants the Emails of Public Scientists

By Karl Haro von MogelThe logo of USRTK
11 Feb 2015
19 Comments

This is troubling news for academic scientists. An organization called “US Right to Know” has issued at least a dozen legal requests to the home universities of public scientists who have made efforts to educate the public about genetically engineered crops. Using the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state laws, they want access […]

Science

Monoculture vs. Polyculture Part II

By Andrew McGuireBuckwheat vs Mix seed
28 Jun 2015
3 Comments

“Straight up” beats “cocktails” for cover crop ecosystem services
Cover crop mixtures, known as “cocktails” by some, are being promoted as having benefits over cover crops planted as monocultures. As I described in Part I, I reviewed recent research results to get at the answer to the question, “are monocultures or polycultures better when it […]

Monoculture vs. Polyculture Part I

By Andrew McGuireDo ecological theories natural biodiversity apply to cover crop polycultures?  Photos left to right: A. Losi & A. McGuire.
28 Jun 2015
0 Comments

“Straight up” beats “cocktails” for cover crop productivity
Planting cover crop mixtures is very popular right now. The practice has a feel-good aspect about it and, buoyed by the ecological theory, it fits with the current “mimic nature” strategy of agroecologists. In Mixing the Perfect Cover Crop Cocktail I demonstrated how difficult it is to […]

Why don’t farmers save seeds?

By NirOksenberglandraces-varieties-of-mexican-2
17 Jun 2015
1 Comments

Until recently, I never put too much thought into where farmers get the seeds that they grow into the foods we eat. I assumed they saved seeds from their previous crop. I thought this would give the farmer more control over his or her operation and save money. I presumed that if a farmer chose […]

Commentary

A look at GMO policies in different nations

By Layla KatiraeeThis article examines GMO legislation in Israel, Canada, Venezuela, and Iran. Made at http://matadornetwork.com/travel-map/
6 Jul 2015
2 Comments

In the debate surrounding GMOs, a statement that is often made is that many countries have banned transgenic crops, which suggests that they are not safe. Here’s an example from the Non-GMO Project’s website:

“Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and […]

The inconvenient truth about GMO labeling

By Layla KatiraeeGMO-label-shutterstock
27 May 2015
49 Comments

Over the past few months, there have been several big stories on the labeling of GMOs: Chipotle, a chain of restaurants popular in the United States declared that they were going to eliminate GMOs from their menu. A perhaps more interesting story is that the USDA stated that they would  start providing a verification program for companies […]

What’s in a name?

By Anastasia BodnarApplause genetically engineered rose via Wired.
23 May 2015
7 Comments

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

–Shakespeare
Does the name of a scientific technique and its results matter?
There are many names for genetic engineering and genetically engineered organisms, and many definitions for those names. Scientists and government agencies in the US generally use […]

Talks & Interviews

Skeptics Ask Monsanto

By MaryMSkepticsAskMonsanto_2
6 Jul 2015
0 Comments

Around the world there are “Skeptics in the Pub” events that gather folks from the local community who are interested in issues of science, technology, health, and sometimes explore the more ephemeral things like the paranormal – ghost busting and Bigfoot sorts of discussions might ensue. You should look around and see if there are […]

Better Know a Scientist: Estefania Elorriaga

By Layla KatiraeeThe plant on the left has a TALEN (will show it's trait much later)
The plant on the top-right is her transgenic control, 
expressing GFP (green fluorescent protein).
The plant on the bottom right is the unmodified control.
22 Jun 2015
5 Comments

This week in “Better Know a Scientist”, I’m interviewing Estefania Elorriaga. She’s in the midst of her PhD in Dr Steven Strauss’ lab in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University. She is doing research on using site-specific nucleases for mutagenesis (fear not! She’ll have to explain her research in this […]

The League of Nerds on GMOs

By MaryMnerds_foil_sm
11 Jun 2015
6 Comments

The League of Nerds (TLoN) is a podcast hosted by two charming young science nerds: James Gurney and Myles Power. Recently, they began exploring the GMO debate in more detail. I’ve been subscribed to them on iTunes for some time and listen to their interviews every week. They don’t cover only GMOs, of course. You’ll find a long […]

Food

Bird flu and egg substitutes

By Anastasia BodnarFrank visits Pete and Gerry's egg farm in Vermont in October 2013.
17 May 2015
4 Comments

It’s strange that so few people are talking about this flu outbreak in chickens in the US. I don’t think it’s something we can ignore. The outbreak is sad for many reasons, including the birds’ suffering, the needed yet wasteful culling of flocks, and the human toll of the workers dealing with so much death […]

Celebrate cookies and science

By Anastasia BodnarGirl Scout Cookies - Thin Mints & Samoas - by Brianpdx via flickr
31 Jan 2015
25 Comments

Scouting was a very important part of my childhood. I learned independence, teamwork, and so many other important life traits. Not to mention the camping, singing, crafts… and cookies! Selling cookies was one of the highlights of each year. Thanks in large part to my grandmother who worked in a hospital and my aunt who worked […]

Let’s make Music for Cooking with Frank N. Foode™!

By Karl Haro von MogelFrank-piano
17 Sep 2014
2 Comments

As many of you may have heard, following the unboxing of our Frank N. Foode™ and Papaya plushies, we have placed the order for these plushies and the factory is beginning production. Not only that, but we managed to increase our order from the original 500 Franks and 250 Papayas to 750 Franks and 500 papayas! The […]

Science & Society

Pope Francis issues cautious statements about GMOs

By Drew KershenPopeFrancis
19 Jun 2015
0 Comments

(Editor’s note: Introduction by Karl Haro von Mogel) On Thursday the 18th of June, the Vatican published an encyclical written by Pope Francis – an open letter addressed to “every living person on this planet.” The bulk of this encyclical focused on addressing climate change and other detrimental impacts that humans are having on the […]

A fine kettle of fish fearmongering

By MaryMKettle of GMO Fish
17 May 2015
8 Comments

Consumers continue to demand fish at very high levels, and this puts pressure on wild fish stocks. A report recently highlighted the fact that aquaculture is becoming increasingly important:
If we continue to fish at the current pace, some scientists predict we’ll be facing oceans devoid of edible marine creatures by 2050.

Aquaculture could come […]

GMO Potatoes on The Daily Show

By Karl Haro von MogelInnate Potato next to a conventional one
23 Apr 2015
17 Comments

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is not afraid to tackle tough issues with a comedic eye. While The Daily Show has tackled science-related issues such as climate change, evolution, and vaccines many times, genetically engineered crops have not been a frequent feature. Last night, Aasif Mandvi started to change that, and with hilarious results. […]

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