Issues

Below are posts from across all issue areas covered by SynBioWatch and collaborating organizations.

Dec 202016
 
Four Steps Forward, One Leap Back on Global Governance of Synthetic Biology

UN Biodiversity Convention grapples with threats posed by extreme biotech industry CANCUN, MEXICO — This week, 196 countries meeting at the 2016 UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) Conference of the Parties made progress on the global governance and oversight of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology (syn bio) has become one of the most fiercely debated topics at the Biodiversity Convention, almost 7 years after civil society first brought the need for precaution and regulation of the [More]

Dec 152016
 
Greater regulation needed on synthetic biology at the COP 13

by Friends of the Earth International Friends of the Earth International and allies call for greater regulation on synthetic biology at the COP 13 Mariann Bassey Orovwuje (Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria) and member of the Friends of the Earth International delegation at the thirteenth Convention of the Parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 13) in Cancun, Mexico, presented a statement on behalf of the Civil Society Working Group on Synthetic Biology during [More]

Dec 152016
 
Coca-Cola, Clarins, DivSeek & Canada win Biopiracy Awards at the COP 13

by Friends of the Earth International Coca-Cola, Clarins, DivSeek and the governments of Canada and Brasil,  were the winners of the 6th “Captain Hook Awards” ceremony that honored the five most important actors of the world of biopiracy this year and in which in which Friends of the Earth International participated. The show was organized by the Coalition Against Biopiracy (CAB) on December 9th during the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity [More]

Dec 082016
 
Victory! GE mosquitoes will not be let loose on Florida community

by Friends of the Earth US Citizens/environment will not be impacted by novel experiment releasing millions of GE mosquitoes WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Food and Drug Administration announced that it will not move forward with the controversial release of millions of genetically engineered mosquitoes in the community of Key Haven in Monroe County, Florida. The release of the GE mosquitoes would have been the first-ever in the United States, but the FDA failed to conduct [More]

Dec 052016
 
160 Global Groups Call for Moratorium on New Genetic Extinction Technology at UN Convention

CANCUN, MEXICO – This week, international conservation and environmental leaders are calling on governments at the 2016 UN Convention on Biodiversity to establish a moratorium on the controversial genetic extinction technology called gene drives. More resources on gene drives and campaigns at CBD COP13 Gene drives, developed through new gene-editing techniques- are designed to force a particular genetically engineered trait to spread through an entire wild population – potentially changing entire species or even causing [More]

Nov 302016
 
Podcast: Synthetic Biology & Gene Drives - Should We Be Concerned?

“Genetic engineering is passé. Today, scientists aren’t just mapping genomes and manipulating genes, they’re building life from scratch – and they’re doing it in the absence of societal debate and regulatory oversight.” – Pat Mooney, Executive Director of ETC Group, whose mission is to access the consequences and impacts of new technologies. Listen to the podcast here: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/postcarbon/episodes/2016-11-28T15_39_01-08_00 KWMR Post Carbon Radio: Our two guests are: Claire Hope Cummings, author of Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering [More]

Nov 212016
 
SynBio, Gene Editing and Other New Stuff: Same Concerns, Supersized

by Mary Lou McDonald (Safe Food Matters) New words like “synthetic biology”, “GMOs 2.0”, “CRISPR”, and “new biology” are being heard.  And new compounds are in our fragrances, flavourings, cosmetics and foods. The new words are for new techniques of genetic engineering. What are the techniques and their products, and should we be concerned? New Techniques­ The old techniques of genetic engineering (GMOs 1.0) dealt with organisms, and inserted genes by either blasting them into [More]

Oct 202016
 
Gene Editing and Seed Stealing

by Chee Yoke Ling and Edward Hammond (Project Syndicate) AUSTIN, TEXAS – Four hundred years ago, John Rolfe used tobacco seeds pilfered from the West Indies to develop Virginia’s first profitable export, undermining the tobacco trade of Spain’s Caribbean colonies. More than 200 years later, another Briton, Henry Wickham, took seeds for a rubber-bearing tree from Brazil to Asia – via that great colonialist institution, London’s Royal Botanic Gardens – thereby setting the stage for [More]

Oct 102016
 
A Collision Course with Unintended Consequences

by Melody Meyer (Organic Matters) In an early morning jaunt to Sacramento last week my car was rear ended.  I serve on the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (who by the way are looking for new members), and was on my way to attend a subcommittee meeting when boom—a fine young man rammed me in the rear. As I recuperate from the trauma, I wax philosophical and wonder why this happened and what the long [More]

Sep 292016
 
GMO 2.0 Foods Coming Your Way: Will They Be Labeled?

by Stacy Malkan (HuffPost) Silenced genes, edited genes, algae engineered to produce compounds that taste like food: new genetically modified organisms (GMOs) made with these experimental techniques are making their way to your dinner plate. It’s the next wave of genetic engineering, or GMOs 2.0. Will we know if they’re in our food? The new GMO labeling law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama has been widely panned by consumer groups because it [More]