Environmental Impacts

Jun 162014
 

(Originally published by The Ecologist) by Jim Thomas Disappointment, surprise, disbelief. I think I felt a bit of all of these when I discovered that ‘natural’ soap-maker Ecover had become the first company in the world to reveal its use of synthetic biology in the manufacture of consumer products. The Belgian multinational revealed in April that it has decided to use an algal oil. What it didn’t explain was that the algae oil was produced [More]

Jun 132014
 
That ‘Natural’ Vanilla in Your Ice Cream May Soon Be Coming from a Biotech Lab

Synthetic biology firms’ foray into food and fragrances faces resistance from greens and consumer groups  BY MAUREEN NANDINI MITRA – JUNE 12, 2014 This article was originally published by Earth Island Journal The first time I ever tasted real vanilla was in a scoop of French vanilla ice cream back in 2000 when I was visiting the United States. The ice cream’s smooth, rich flavor was far superior to the artificial, overly-sweet, “vanilla essence” usually [More]

May 302014
 
Companies Quietly Apply Biofuel Tools to Household Products

This article originally appeared in the New York Times. By STEPHANIE STROM MAY 30, 2014 Consumer products containing ingredients made using an advanced form of engineering known as synthetic biology are beginning to show up more often on grocery and department store shelves. A liquid laundry detergent made by Ecover, a Belgian company that makes “green” household products including the Method line, contains an oil produced by algae whose genetic code was altered using synthetic [More]

May 082014
 

A panel of world scientists want to talk to us about synthetic biology. But it’s not clear what we’re allowed to discuss by Jack Stilgoe Originally published by the Guardian on May 8, 2014. The Inter-Academy Panel, a network of the world’s science academies including our own Royal Society, today issued a statement on synthetic biology. A few years ago, biologists in the higher branches of the Royal Society would claim that SynBio didn’t merit [More]

Video: GMOs 2.0: Synthetic Biology, Farmers and Food

 Economic Impacts, Environmental Impacts, Events  Comments Off on Video: GMOs 2.0: Synthetic Biology, Farmers and Food
May 052014
 
Video: GMOs 2.0: Synthetic Biology, Farmers and Food

Goldman Theater, Brower Center, Berkeley Synthetic biology, “extreme genetic engineering,” is about to radically change our food system. What is “synbio” and what are the real costs to agriculture, the environment, and the livelihoods of farmers around the world? SPEAKERS:   Neth Daño, ETC Group, Philippines Alejandrino García Castaño, Vanilla Farmer, Mexico John Roulac, Nutiva, Richmond, CA Dana Perls, Friends of the Earth, Berkeley, CA

Sep 162013
 
Video: Corporate Biotech Green vs. Ecological Green - Vandana Shiva & Gopal Dayaneni

Vandana Shiva, PhD in conversation with Gopal Dayaneni, of Movement Generation: Justice and Ecology Project. World renowned environmental philosopher and activist Vandana Shiva illuminates the corporate assault on biological and cultural diversity and helps us connect the dots: What is the East Bay “Green Corridor,” who is creating it, and what does it mean for communities here and around the globe? “Big oil, big pharma, big food, big seed companies are joining hands to appropriate [More]

Sep 042013
 

Originally published by Friends of the Earth Synthetic Biology Vanillin: not natural, not sustainable, not likely to be labeled, and coming to an ice-cream cone near you. A new ingredient is about to enter the global food supply in many of our favorite foods from ice cream to birthday cake. And like many of the products of genetic engineering, it won’t be carrying a label– instead it is being marketed as “natural”. This ingredient, synthetic [More]

Sep 042013
 
Friends of the Earth Launches Campaign against Synbio Vanilla

Originally published on Friends of the Earth Friends of the Earth (FOE) has  launched a campaign to urge Haagen Dazs, Dryers, Baskin Robbins, and other major ice cream companies to commit to not use synbio vanilla in their ice cream. Dana Perls, Food and technology campaigner for FOE, says “In the face of inaction by the FDA, it’s up to consumers to voice our concerns and make it clear we do not want synbio vanilla [More]

Apr 092013
 

By Pete Shanks

There’s a buzz now around bringing species back from the dead. There’s even a spiffy new name for it: “de-extinction.” To some people, it sounds cute and cool and seems to be a sort of compensation for the human complicity in driving species out of existence in the first place. To others, it’s a business opportunity. Environmentalists should not be fooled by the flim-flam and should be very wary of the implications of this campaign.

Apr 082013
 
UK Guardian: Synthetic Biology Advocates Woo Conservationists with Bio-Engineering "Solutions" to Species Extinction

Reposted from the Guardian: Call for DNA biologists to join fight against deadly new threats to wildlife Research into creation of a new generation of synthetic organisms could be the way to save some of the natural world’s most endangered species, according to conservationists The Panamanian golden frog has been pushed close to extinction by fungal disease. Photograph: Darren Green Photography / Alamy/Alamy Robin McKie, science editor Conservation workers will this week seek help from [More]