The J.R. Simplot Co. just filed a petition asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to grant non-regulated status to potatoes genetically engineered (GE) to reduce bruising and suppress levels of acrylamide, a neurotoxin occurring naturally in cooked potatoes. Read More
June 4th, 2013
May 13th, 2013
It is encouraging that USDA will produce an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for crops resistant to 2,4-D or dicamba. These crops, through the herbicides they are designed to use, have potential to cause substantial environmental and human harm, especially due to drift and volatility. Weed scientists have projected dramatically increased use of these herbicides, and herbicides in general, if these crops are approved. Read More
Toxic Algae and No-Till—The Environmental Darling of Industrial Agriculture and Genetic Engineering Looks Less Attractive
May 2nd, 2013
Read attempts to defend the sustainability of industrial agriculture and genetic engineering, and you will soon encounter no-till, or more generally, conservation tillage. Now it appears that no-till may be contributing to some serious environmental problems. Read More
March 25th, 2013
March 21st, 2013
Spring has arrived. You can feel it in the air, the brighter sunlight slanting at a steeper angle, and the song of birds that have arrived from exotic winter homes. If you are not a night owl, you might wake up early enough to listen to the energy and excitement of the dawn chorus starting off the day. Read More
March 8th, 2013
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack made several recent pronouncements prompted by the growing recognition that climate change will make it harder to grow crops. It was a step in the right direction, but it will take a major shift in money and personnel to make needed changes happen. Read More
February 14th, 2013
It’s Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. The President loves the First Lady’s bangs. Grammy-winner Kelly Clarkson loves fellow winner Miguel (now that she knows who he is). Babies (apparently) love Beyoncé.
And the Monsanto Company, the world’s largest seed and agrichemical seller, is making sure we all know how much they love American farmers.
January 11th, 2013
UPDATE: I have appended at the bottom of this post an update addressing Mark Lynas’ response to this post on his own website.
I suppose it is hard for journalists to resist a good story: Mark Lynas, former green activist, has seen the light. The pronouncements of converted GM critic Lynas have garnered coverage from several respected media sources, despite often being misleading, wrong, or questionable scientifically. Read More
December 3rd, 2012
A new paper in Nature magazine summarizes a project to delineate the DNA code of bread wheat. The results add to the growing number of crops and other plants whose genomes have been decoded, which facilitates genetic comparisons for evolutionary studies, crop improvement through breeding, and other biological work. Read More
October 26th, 2012