Genetically Modified Dengue Fighters

The Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which can be recognized from the banding pattern on its legs. Image by USDA via Wikimedia.

When I was 6 years old, my family moved to Venezuela. I graduated from high-school and then chose to move back to Canada to go to college while my family stayed behind. It’s only in the past 2-4 years that my family left Venezuela due to the economic and political instability. And the kidnappings. The Valle del Turbio, which separates the cities of Barquisimeto and Cabudare, in Venezuela. Image by JesusElGuaro via Wikimedia. Most of that time was spent in a city called Barquisimeto. Our house overlooked a valley of sugar cane fields, called “Valle del Turbio”, named for a

Norman Borlaug Ringtone

Borlaug-Ringtone

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 to the series of articles and interviews that we will be publishing on the Biofortified Blog throughout the coming year. Now you can get Norman Borlaug on your cell phone! We have produced a ringtone based on the music video, to remind you whenever you

GMO Papayas are about People

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My dorky “OMG It’s Dennis Gonsalves!” shot 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 at people’s houses, and while I was in the state I knew I really wanted to see a papaya farm and to meet Dr. Dennis Gonsalves, who developed the genetically engineered ringspot virus-resistant papayas known as SunUp and

Papaya Scientists sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow

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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 – which they were both involved in. But best of all, we shared a meal made from many different papaya dishes, all using the papaya that they developed (You will be able to see a glimpse of this food at a later date)! When we

About those industry funded GMO studies…

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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 pose no different risks than conventionally bred crops were all bought and paid for by Monsanto. That makes the consensus suspicious right? It would if there weren’t many independently funded studies with similar results. Complaints about industry funded studies show an ignorance of the literature