Jun 152016
Meet the New Stevia! GMOs 2.0 Get Dressed for Success

by Stacy Malkan (The Huffington Post) Our culture is smitten with the notion that technology can save us – or at least create great business opportunities! Cargill, for example, is working on a new food technology that mimics stevia, a sugar substitute derived from plant leaves, for the “exploding sports nutrition market.” Cargill’s new product, EverSweet, uses genetically engineered yeast to convert sugar molecules to mimic the properties of stevia, with no need for the [More]

Jun 102016
The National Academies’ Gene Drive study has ignored important and obvious issues

by Jim Thomas (The Guardian): ‘Gene drives’ seem to be the ultimate high-leverage technology. Yesterday’s report from the US National Academies begun the job of describing what is at stake, but it missed some important questions. If there is a prize for the fastest emerging tech controversy of the century the ‘gene drive’ may have just won it. In under eighteen months the sci-fi concept of a ‘mutagenic chain reaction’ that can drive a genetic [More]

Jun 092016
Permanently changing a species: What could go wrong?

by Dana Perls, Food and Technology campaigner (Friends of the Earth US) No commercial or environmental release of gene drives, says Friends of the Earth The National Academies of Sciences released a new report today, which calls for robust safety assessments for “gene drive modified organisms.” The NAS says the controversial new genetic engineering technology is not ready for release into the environment. These genetic engineering technologies under development go far beyond genetic engineering as [More]

Jun 092016
Stop The Gene Bomb! ETC Group Comment on NAS Report on Gene Drives

The National Academy of Sciences is releasing a report about “gene drives”, which are attempts to cause entire populations to inherit certain traits, such as reducing reproductive capacity, and which can cause species crashes, or even extinction. ETC Group have countered with this news release on the topic: 8th June 2016 · First study on gene drive governance avoids the explosive issues: Militarization, Commercialization, Food Security. · ETC Group urges that gene drive patents and [More]

Jun 072016
Read SynBioWatch's 2nd newsletter!

The 2nd SynBioWatch newsletter is now available online – you can read it here. You can sign up for future editions by entering your email address in the right-hand sidebar of this website.

Jun 032016
European Greens launch new gene-editing resources

New GMOs, an undemocratic authorization process for imports of GMO plants, glyphosate, patents on Life… all of these issues feature prominently in today’s news and political agendas, and because of this, the European Greens/EFA group is reviving its GMO website! In it you will be able to find press releases, articles, videos, brochures and resources on these topics. To help explain these new GMOs and gene-editing techniques, and to better understand the risks they pose, [More]

May 252016
What is Synthetic Biology? The Comic Book

ETC Group have produced a fantastic comic book that explains the issues around synthetic biology, and its attempts to engineer life. You can download the comic book here for free. The comic accompanies a short film which you can watch here.

May 252016
Mascoma: The biggest misspending of public funds for cellulosic biofuels ever?

This is an investigation of Mascoma Corporation, a start-up biofuels company which may have misspent more public funds intended for building advanced biofuels refineries than any other company in North America. Download the investigation Summary: Mascoma took at least $100m and possibly over $155m in public funding intended for building integrated biorefineries. Their biggest donor was the US Department of Energy (DoE), including the DoE funded BioenergyScience Center. They also received $14.8 million from New [More]

May 252016
Latin American scientists warn against risks of new GM techniques

GM Watch: Scientists demand an end to experimentation in genetic manipulation and call on farmers and society to reclaim scientific research Below is an important statement by the Latin American Union of Scientists Concerned with Society and Nature, questioning the safety of new GM techniques like gene editing and demanding the suspension of experimentation in this field. — Open letter on new technologies Latin American Union of Scientists Concerned with Society and Nature– (UCCSNAL) 10 [More]

May 052016
U.S. tries to export its biotech deregulatory regime

by Dr. Steve Suppan (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy) A long standing claim by the U.S. government and agribusiness lobby is that U.S. regulations on genetically engineered (GE) crops are science-based while European regulations are not.  For example, an April 8 letter from the American Soybean Association to the U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, states that “approval of these events [three GE soy crops] is [More]