DNA strands

A crossroads for ‘genome editing’ in Europe – questions, options and dilemmas

A new policy briefing on genome editing discusses choices and dilemmas facing policy makers and societal stakeholders in the European Union and the United Kingdom. The UK is considering changing its rules on ‘genome editing’ of crops, which would mean these technologies would be less tightly regulated than in the EU. A public consultation ends…

Union flag made of farm produce

Genome editing in post-Brexit agriculture: Which way for the UK?

Angela Noland, Dominic Glover and Adrian Ely In less than a month’s time, the UK’s relationship with the European Union will change dramatically. Agriculture and food will be among the biggest areas affected – from production methods and supply routes to labelling and product standards. A lot will depend on the outcomes of trade negotiations….

The Philippines has rated ‘Golden Rice’ safe, but farmers might not plant it

by Glenn Davis Stone and Dominic Glover “Golden Rice” is probably the world’s most hotly debated genetically modified organism (GMO). It was intended to be a beta carotene-enriched crop to reduce Vitamin A deficiency, a health problem in very poor areas. But it has never been offered to farmers for planting. Why not? Because Golden…

Choreographed Consensus: The stifling of dissent at CRISPRcon 2019

by Saurabh Arora (SPRU/STEPS Centre), Barbara van Dyck (SPRU/STEPS Centre), Alejandro Argumedo (Asociación ANDES) and Tom Wakeford (ETC Group) Last week, we attended the annual CRISPRcon hosted by Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. The conference was marketed as a not-for-profit event offering ‘a unique forum in which a broad selection of diverse voices…

What is revolutionary about the Green Revolution?

The dramatic increase in yields of wheat and rice in the 1960s and 1970s in India, along with many other countries in the post-colonial world, was framed as a technological breakthrough made possible by miracle hybrid seed varieties. This breakthrough ostensibly averted mass scale hunger and was central, so the story goes, to realising substantive…

Ubuntu plant

Ubuntu, collective seed: Bioleft project on the press

Two articles about Bioleft project and the first Bioleft seed, Ubuntu, were published last month on specialized n
n the press Bioleft project and

Flag of Europe as a round plate with knife and fork

Is the new European ruling on GM techniques ‘anti-science’?

Frontstage rhetorics, backstage forces in current debates around the European Court of Justice ruling on GM crops There has been much commotion in the media over the past week, following the ruling by the European Court of Justice over how to interpret EU laws bearing on the regulation of GM crops. The ruling clarifies an…

Mustard field

GM mustard in India: are important questions not being asked?

The Indian researcher Poonam Pandey has written an opinion piece for the Hindustan Times about the latest controversy over GM mustard in India. DMH 11 (Dhara Mustard Hybrid) was recently approved by the country’s biotechnology regulator for commercial release. But the article lists some potential concerns with this development, including the accuracy of claims about…

Global lessons for agricultural sustainability from GM crops

Governing Agricultural Sustainability: Global lessons from GM crops is the latest title in the STEPS Centre’s Pathways to Sustainability book series. Editor Phil Macnaghten introduces its reframing of the GM debate explored in the book. By Phil Macnaghten, Professor of Technology and International Development, Wageningen University ‘Can GM crops help to feed the world?’ It…

For or against GM crops? Other positions are available

Academic cheerleaders for biotechnology corporations need better arguments if they want to persuade the public, write Erik Millstone, Andy Stirling and Dominic Glover, introducing their article in a forthcoming edition of Issues in Science and Technology (PDF). Companies involved in crop genetic engineering (GE) see themselves as principled heroes in a struggle against opportunistic reactionaries….