Rogue Wheat Now Found in 127 Countries!

Wheat being loaded into a trailer from a harvester, by KJHvM

Rogue wheat is growing in wheat fields in 127 countries around the world! Should consumers be concerned? Ok, I’m indulging in a poor imitation of the emotive language common in sensational writings about food issues. What I said in the paragraph above is all true, it’s just misleading because of a lack of context. After the “crisis” of glyphosate tolerant wheat being found in an Oregon field, I thought it would be useful to put that event into perspective.  So… Wheat 1.0 Wheat is largely a “saved seed crop,” meaning that farmers set aside some of the grain from each

Pest resistance to Bt crops

Cotton Bollworm. Source: USDA

The issue of pest resistance to insect resistant Bt crops receives regular media attention, partly because anti-biotechnology lobbies use it as an argument to vilify GM crops. The German NGO testbiotech, in a recently published report commissioned by Member of the European Parliament Martin Häuslingof the Green Party, argues that because of potential resistance development, GM crops should not be allowed for cultivation in the EU: There must be no large-scale, commercial cultivation of GE herbicide-tolerant or insecticide-producing crops. Such crop cultivation is unsustainable and will lead to a ‘race’ to step up their cultivation. The idea that a

Counting The Cost of the Anti-GMO Movement

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Last week, environmentalist Mark Lynas presented an articulate and painfully honest apology for his significant role in starting the anti-GMO movement in the 1990s.  He said that it was the most successful campaign in which he has ever been involved, but after finally looking into the science, he now deeply regrets what he and others accomplished.  While it is gratifying to have a figure like Lynas make such a turn-about, it does nothing to mitigate the damage of which this anti-science movement has perpetrated on humanity and the environment.  Ideally, such a dramatic reversal will induce others in the movement to

Mark Lynas’s Oxford Farming Conference Speech

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Years ago, environmental activist and author Mark Lynas campaigned against genetically engineered crops, sometimes ripping them up with his own hands. But in a speech given at the 2013 Oxford Farming Conference on January 3rd, he apologized for these actions, and explained how his opinion has changed over time and has been turned completely around. This speech, the transcript of which you can find on his site, has been heard around the world. It has sparked many discussions in the news media, and in social media as well. He explains that part of his journey from being an anti-GE activist

Can the Damage from Agenda-driven Junk Science be Undone?

Unfortunately, junk science can be generated by people with agendas, and the editorial process does not always prevent it from getting the undeserved legitimacy of publication.  In extreme cases the legitimate scientific community responds, but can it undo the damage?  Recently a group of scientists led by Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen published a feeding study which purported to find tumorigenic effects of GMO corn and glyphosate. It was so blatantly flawed in design and interpretation that it elicited a rapid and overwhelmingly negative response. The Scientific Community Responds In an unprecedented move, the French academies of agriculture, medicine, pharmacy, science, technology