Health & Safety

Aug 222017
 
News Release: “Bleeding” veggie burger has “no basis for safety,” according to FDA

Documents show that makers of the “Impossible Burger” ignored FDA’s warnings about safety of burger’s key GMO ingredient Cross-posted from ETC Group.  August 8, 2017 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Creators of a fake-meat burger made with a high-profile genetically engineered ingredient may have landed their experimental industry in a sizzling food safety mess, casting doubt on a Silicon Valley foodtech investor bubble. As reported on in today’s New York Times, recently obtained documents from the U.S. [More]

Apr 062017
 
African Centre for Biodiversity releases briefings on risks of new GM technologies

Cross-posted from African Centre for Biodiversity. Link: http://acbio.org.za/two-simplified-briefings-introducing-new-gm-technologies-and-biosafety-risks/ Last month, the African Centre for Biodiversity released two simplified briefings on plant breeding and gene editing. These reports introduce the novel techniques and their associated biosafety concerns, refuting the claim that crops developed with these methods represent technological progress in ‘precision’ and ‘safety’. Click here to download the Plant Breeding report Click here to download the Gene Editing report  

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]

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]

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]

Jul 192016
 
Do CRISPR enthusiasts have their head in the sand about the safety of gene editing?

By Sharon Begley (STAT) WASHINGTON — At scientific meetings on genome-editing, you’d expect researchers to show pretty slides of the ribbony 3-D structure of the CRISPR-Cas9 molecules neatly snipping out disease-causing genes in order to, everyone hopes, cure illnesses from cancer to muscular dystrophy. Less expected: slides of someone kneeling on a beach with his head in the sand. Yet that is what Dr. J. Keith Joung of Massachusetts General Hospital showed at the American Society of [More]

Jul 122016
 
Don’t Eat the Yellow Rice: The Danger of Deploying Vitamin A Golden Rice

by  Ted Greiner, PhD (Independent Science News) What better way to discredit your critics than to rope in 107 naive Nobel Prize winners (all without relevant expertise) to criticize your opposition? But such tactics are not new. Long ago, the GMO industry spent well over $50 million to promote “Golden Rice” as the solution to vitamin A deficiency in low income countries. They did so well before the technology was completely worked out, let alone [More]

Jun 292016
 
This scientist is trying to stop a lab-created global disaster

Disclaimer: This article is interesting as it expresses the concerns of a scientist deeply involved in the synbio and in particular gene-drive fields (his team figured out how to make dene-drives work!), and highlights just how under-regulated current experiments are.  We don’t condone the research described in the article, or necessarily agree with the alternative regulation proposed. Please see Friends of the Earth US’s blog post on why gene-drives should not be used outside of [More]

Apr 262016
 
God’s Red Pencil? CRISPR and The Three Myths of Precise Genome Editing

by Jonathan Latham, PhD (Independent Science News) For the benefit of those parts of the world where public acceptance of biotechnology is incomplete, a public relations blitz is at full tilt. It concerns an emerging set of methods for altering the DNA of living organisms. “Easy DNA Editing Will Remake the World. Buckle Up“; “We Have the Technology to Destroy All Zika Mosquitoes“; and “CRISPR: gene editing is just the beginning”. (CRISPR is short for [More]

Apr 042016
 
From rogue scientists to DIY biohackers: real threats to ecosystems are not being taken seriously

This spring could see new synbio techniques literally hitting the streets, with DIY biohacking kits going on sale. These promise you the ability to make yeast turn red. More significantly, other biohackers are planning to post synbio glow-in-the-dark plants to enthusiasts throughout the US. Whilst these biohacking gimmicks may sound perfectly innocuous, they are potentially very dangerous, essentially unregulated, presumably self-replicating, and about to be mailed out throughout the US. As is described below, the [More]