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.


Controversial biotech outreach program gets mixed reception (April Fools)

By Guest Postsshill2
1 Apr 2014

By Abril D Primero

The Biotechnology industry, struggling to gain acceptance for their products, has looked at social media as a wild animal they’ve been unable to tame, until now. Momsanto, a giant corporation that sells genetically engineered seeds and low-calorie sweeteners, has launched a program called “$hill Bucks.” This new social media-based incentive program, [...]

Play it Hard – A Tribute to Dr. Norman Borlaug

By Karl Haro von Mogelborlaug125
25 Mar 2014

The International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT) and Biology Fortified have produced a special video tribute to the late Dr. Norman Borlaug, a legendary CIMMYT scientist who developed high-yielding, semi-dwarf wheat that started the Green Revolution which is credited with saving over 1 billion people from starvation. The release of this tribute coincides [...]

Kaua’i Council appoints 11th-hour Member

By Karl Haro von MogelFrank-back-against-ocean300
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 [...]


Ecosystems are not smart, we are.

By Andrew McGuireCover crop seed blend of 17 species
6 Apr 2014

In my recent post Don’t mimic nature on the farm, improve it, I argued that we should cast aside the ideas of “balance of nature” and “nature knows best” in designing farming systems. There is no reason to “follow nature’s lead” if nature has not been optimized by any process that we know of, and therefore [...]

How does BT work?

By Joe BallengerAdult corn borer. By Tony Morris vis Flickr.
5 Apr 2014

Life, at it’s most basic level is really just a series of chemical reactions. Biochemists and molecular biologists, such as myself, look at how life works at the very most basic level. Unfortunately, this stuff is all very complicated and there are few resources online to explain how this work. Anastasia has a wonderful post [...]

E.coli’s use in GMOs: can you get E.coli poisoning?

By Layla KatiraeeThe cloning process.
23 Mar 2014

For my first post on Biofortified, I’d like to share an account of an exchange that started on Twitter. It all began when I stumbled upon a doozy of a story, about how you can get E. coli poisoning from GMOs. The author outlines that E.coli is used during the course of genetic engineering to replicate DNA [...]


No soup for you

By MaryMNo GMO for you!
17 Apr 2014

Close your eyes for a minute (after this paragraph) and think about the technology you have around your house. Maybe your TV, DVD player, your smartphone, your tablet. Maybe you like the way it works. But could it be better? Could it be safer? Could it be more environmentally friendly? Would a new OS provide [...]

The 10 minor realizations that flipped my thinking about GMOs

By marcbrazeauAdapted from an image by Amanda via Flickr.
8 Apr 2014

A recent story about GMO testing kicked off a conversation with a friend. The researchers tested the biochemicals from crops to suss out variations in food quality and composition due to genetic engineering. The new process allowed researchers to extract 1,000 or so biochemicals from the fruit of tomatoes. *
When the scientists compared the [...]

Two Paths Taken

By Bill Pricenorm and harry.001
6 Apr 2014

As I write this, the agricultural community has just finished a week acknowledging and celebrating the work of Norman Borlaug.  Borlaug, of course, is widely known as the father of the Green Revolution, having increased the production of staple crops (particularly wheat) around the globe to unprecedented levels.  He single-handedly stymied Malthusian predictions of inevitable global [...]

Talks & Interviews

Q&A about Plenish® soybeans

By Anastasia BodnarSusan Knowlton, image provided by DuPont Pioneer.
2 Apr 2014

In the post What do you want to know about Plenish® Soybeans? we invited you to ask questions of Susan Knowlton, a Senior Research Manager with DuPont and the lead of the DuPont Healthy Oils team (see her bio below). Dr. Knowles has provided detailed responses to some of your questions.

Q&A about biofortified sorghum

By Anastasia Bodnar
18 Mar 2014

In the post What do you want to know about biofortified sorghum? we invited you to ask questions of Marc Albertsen, DuPont Pioneer’s team lead for the African Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) project (see his bio below). Dr. Albertsen’s has provided detailed responses.

What do you want to know about DIY bio?

By Anastasia BodnarPoster by DIYBio. Used under a CC license.
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.


What does a non-GMO label get you?

By Anastasia BodnarGluten-free waffle breakfast at Silver Diner. Image by Teri Centner via Flickr.
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 [...]

Happy Thanksgiving!

By Frank N. Foode™Thanksgiving2011
28 Nov 2013

Enjoy your food tonight, thank some farmers and scientists. Forget about the politics for a little while.

Michelle Obama: Don’t go on The Biggest Loser

By Ariela Haro von Mogelbiggest-loser-150
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 [...]

Science & Society

Norman Borlaug Ringtone

By Karl Haro von MogelBorlaug-Ringtone
22 Apr 2014

It has been almost a month since we released the Play it Hard music video with Nobel laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug, and the video has received over 9,000 views (when you count CIMMYT’s channel as well as ours)! We’re really pleased to hear that people enjoy the video, and we hope that it draws attention [...]

GMO Papayas are about People

By Karl Haro von Mogelalberto
7 Mar 2014

Last August, I was invited to speak about genetically engineered crops at a GMO Summit organized by the Hawai’i Crop Improvement Association. The event was held on the big island of Hawai’i, known for its enormous volcanoes, long beaches, and coffee and papaya farms. The HCIA flew me in to speak (honorarium declined), I stayed [...]

Papaya Scientists sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow

By Karl Haro von Mogelpapaya-ukulele-125
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 [...]

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