Food, Inc. filmmaker Robert Kenner has a new project about labeling of GMO foods. This one's a short video, not a feature film, so it'll only take three minutes of your life to check it out.
If life is really a disaster movie in which humanity is wiped off the face of the earth, J. Craig Venter will probably be the hubristic genius who gets us there. The man sequenced the human genome in like three years, and now he's focused on the genetic possibilities of algae. The goal is to program those little cells to produce biofuels. Here's his pitch, as told to Scientific American: Everybody is looking for a naturally occurring alga that is going to be a miracle cell to save the world, and after a century of looking, people still haven’t found it. We hope we’re different. The [genetic] tools give us a new approach to being able to rewrite the genetic code and get cells to do what we want them to do. Eek! Mutant algae!
The next wave of genetic engineering uses microRNA to control pests on industrial farms. But new research out of China shows it could have adverse health effects for human digestion.
We continue digesting this year’s food politics coverage below — only this time we take account of the things that didn’t go so well. (Tired of bad news? See the year’s good food news instead.) 1. Food prices have gone up, and more people need help feeding their families The fact that 46 million people — about a seventh of the U.S. population — now receive food stamps (i.e. help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)) should be enough to tell us that something is wrong with America’s food system. But thanks to the way public food assistance is …
The corn rootworm.Photo: Jimmy SmithNow that 94 percent of the soy and 70 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. are genetically modified, Monsanto — one of the companies that dominates the GMO seed market — might look to some like it’s winning. But if we look a little closer, I’d say they’re holding on by a thread. Their current success is due in large part to brilliant marketing. The company’s approach was both compelling — their products were sold as the key to making large-scale farming far simpler and more predictable — and aggressive: Monsanto made it virtually …
Genetically modified seeds are banned in Hungary. So when government regulators found that 1,000 acres of maize had been planted with genetically modified seeds, they just plowed the suckers under. You stick it to the Monsanto, Hungary! Leaving aside the fact that this sort of sweep-the-checkers-off-the-board move is always kind of badass, this is also some amazingly thorough government regulation. For starters, they were willing to take collateral damage — only some of the seeds on those 1,000 acres were Monsanto-born Frankenmaize, but they destroyed it all despite the fact that it was too late to plant more. Also, these …
With the FDA only weeks away from announcing official approval of GMO salmon, parent company AquaBounty is struggling to stay afloat.
October is National Non-GMO Month. Brush up on your GMO knowledge with this handy infographic.
The only thing that stands between us and eating fish riddled with genes that some dude spliced together in the lab is the Office of Management and Budget. The FDA has finished its evaluation of genetically engineered salmon and recommended that the fish be commercialized. The GE fish grows fast and big, which means more fish for all of us. But it also could have worrisome impacts on the environment, because it's a fish that we programmed in order to bend its entire existence to our will!
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