Sep 222016
 
GMOs 2.0: A New Generation Of Fake Food And Fake Promises

by Jim Thomas (HuffPost) Would you put these items on your shopping list? Gene-silenced apples that don’t rot; synthetic vanilla made with genetically engineered yeast; canola, DNA edited to resist pesticides. These are just a few of the new genetically engineered products already making their way to a store near you. We call them GMOs 2.0 — and they may even be misleadingly labeled as “natural.” How will you know if you’re eating synthetic GMO [More]

Sep 202016
 
New Shopper’s Guide to Synthetic Biology

Are GMOs 2.0 in your food and cosmetics? Gene-silenced apples that never look old, synthetic stevia created with genetically engineered algae — these are just some of the new generation of GMOs companies are sneaking into food and consumer products. This new guide helps consumers avoid the new wave of GMOs and find truly natural and sustainable options. The 12-page guide is available for free below, and printed copies can be ordered in bulk for [More]

Sep 162016
 
The Monsanto–Bayer tie-up is just one of seven; Mega-Mergers and Big Data Domination Threaten Seeds, Food Security

by ETC Group Policymakers could still block the agribiz mergers; peasants and farmers will continue the fight for seeds and rights Wednesday’s confirmation that Monsanto and Bayer have agreed to a $66 billion merger is just the latest of four M&A announcements, but at least three more game-changing mergers are in play (and flying under the radar).  The acquisition activity is no longer just about seeds and pesticides but about global control of agricultural inputs [More]

Sep 092016
 
The Perils of Planned Extinctions

by Claire Hope Cummings (Project Syndicate) HONOLULU – A cynical move is underway to promote a new, powerful, and troubling technology known as “gene drives” for use in conservation. This is not just your everyday genetic modification, known as “GMO”; it is a radical new technology, which creates “mutagenic chain reactions” that can reshape living systems in unimaginable ways. Gene drives represent the next frontier of genetic engineering, synthetic biology, and gene editing. The technology [More]

Sep 092016
 
Watch: Gene Drives out of Hawaii Public Meeting

Watch the Livestream of Wednesday’s public meeting on Gene Drives in Hawaii, part of the series of events that took place to coincide with the ICUN conference. Hosted by Hawaii SEED. Host: Claire Cummings, journalist and author Speakers: Walter Ritte – Native Hawaiin activist, Hokolei Lindsey – Native Hawaiin legal scholar, Dana Perls – Friends of the Earth, and Jim Thomas – ETC Group.

Sep 012016
 
Gene Drives: Solution or Problem? Sacred or Synthetic?

Events during IUCN World Conservation Congress September 1-10, 2016 in Oahu, Hawai’i Gene drives are a new biotechnology development that allows humans the unprecedented capability to profoundly alter or even drive to extinction entire populations or even whole species of organisms. Are they a valued tool for conservation or are they more likely to fail, make matters worse, fall into the hands of those who seek profit-making at all cost, or be used for military [More]

Aug 292016
 
Reckless Driving: Gene drives and the end of nature

This is a new briefing from the Civil Society Working Group on Gene Drives which includes Biofuelwatch, Econexus, ETC Group, Friends of the Earth US, Hawai’i SEED and Navdanya. It can be downloaded as a pdf here (en español). Imagine that by releasing a single fly into the wild you could genetically alter all the flies on the planet—causing them all to turn yellow, carry a toxin, or go extinct. This is the terrifyingly powerful [More]

Aug 292016
 
Biohacking ban needed

by Louise Sales Last week US biohacker Ellen Jorgensen toured Australia encouraging members of the public to genetically modify microbes prompting the GM Free Australia Alliance to call for a ban on the genetic engineering of microbes outside contained and certified laboratory facilities. Biohacking generally means genetically modifying a bacteria, yeast, plant or animal to change its function or physical characteristics. Whilst such tinkering currently appears to be legal in Australia, the development of new [More]

Aug 192016
 
In the fight for our genes, could we lose what makes us human?

by Ziyaad Bhorat (Open Democracy) There’s more to human beings than biology and physiology—and it shouldn’t be for sale. In the last 70 years we’ve come a long way towards unraveling the building blocks of human life. The human genome has been identified, sequenced, mapped, decoded, and interfered with. We’ve used this knowledge to clone Dolly the sheep, discover breast cancer-causing genes and create stem cells from our own skin. And now we stand on [More]

Aug 162016
 
New biohacking factsheet from Friends of the Earth Australia

An increasing number of people – many with no formal biological training – are genetically engineering common microbes in community labs and kitchens, posing potentially serious risks to the environment and human health and raising serious ethical questions. These individuals regard the living world as suitable for hacking, like the entirely artificial digital world. They also believe that voluntary codes of conduct are sufficient to regulate their activities, despite the fact that digital subcultures create [More]