Regulation & Oversight

Feb 022016
 
New Report: Biotech industry lobby intent on ransack of EU GMO rules

Reposted from Corporate Europe Observatory. Food safety, the environment, and consumer choice are at stake, as biotech industry lobbyists pressure decision makers to deregulate a new generation of genetic engineering techniques ahead of a crucial European Commission decision in February. “Biotech lobby’s push for new GMOs to escape regulation”, a new report by Corporate Europe Observatory, shows how industry has been pushing for the deregulation of new GM techniques despite widespread consumer rejection of GMOs [More]

Feb 022016
 
Brussels biotech lobby's last push for 'GM 2.0' technologies to escape regulation

by Nina Holland (The Ecologist) Biotech corporations have invested billions in a range of new ‘GM 2.0’ technologies designed to redesign the world’s germplasm and create new generations of super-GMOs, writes Nina Holland. And powerful investors have no intention of letting tedious EU regulations get in the way of the profits they are now poised to reap – no matter what the laws actually say. The European Commission is close to issuing a crucial decision [More]

Jan 212016
 
New GM food could end up on your plate untested and unlabelled

by franziska achterberg (Greenpeace EU Unit) After two decades of commercial use, Europeans still can’t stomach genetically modified (GM) food. But their producers may have found a way to bypass public opposition and safety regulation. A new range of GM plants and animals could soon end up on the dinner table without any testing or labelling, and without anybody knowing. Agrochemical multinationals believe EU laws on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are too onerous. This is why [More]

Jan 152016
 
GM 2.0? 'Gene-editing' produces GMOs that must be regulated as GMOs

This is an important article about the battle to ensure that gene-editing is treated under GM regulations in the EU. It’s relevant to synbio as many of the new “breeding techniques” under consideration by the EU – such as the genome editing described in the article below – are increasingly seen as common practices within the synthetic biology field, and contribute towards the establishment of a broader bioeconomy. by Janet Cotter & Ricarda Steinbrecher (Ecologist) [More]

Jun 302015
 
"Jurassic World" and the Dinosaurs at the USDA

by Rachel Smolker, Truthout The new movie Jurassic World offers more than a few lessons relevant to the state of our world. There is the obvious point about scientists bringing back to life genetically engineered dinosaurs with no real concern for the havoc they may wreak. Then there is the very clear link to real-world “de-extinction” scientists who seriously aim to bring back mastodons and passenger pigeons, while others are finding ever more potent means [More]

Jun 042015
 
Creators defend vanilla flavour made using synthetic biology

Evolva say its synbio vanillin is a sustainable alternative to the synthetic variety, but critics say the technology isn’t palatable for the environment by Rich McEachran (Guardian) On its journey from the fields in Madagascar to your ice cream, sponge cake and chocolate, the vanilla plant is subjected to an intense process: it’s cured, dried and sometimes even oxidised. Given the lengthy nature of vanilla production – it can take several weeks to go from [More]

Apr 172015
 
Video: Sacred vs Synthetic: Competing Visions for Life on Earth

Synthetic biology – genetic engineering to create and control life – could radically impact our food systems, our environment, and our relationship with nature. What is “synbio” and how will it undermine traditional knowledge, livelihoods and society? What follows is a conversation about the false promise of synbio and the real solutions right here in our own communities. Featuring: Joanna Macy, PhD, Eco-philosopher Carla Perez, Movement Generation and Healing Clinic Collective Doria Robinson, Urban Tilth Scott [More]

Oct 292014
 
What is Synthetic Biology?

Engineering Life and Livelihoods This short film explains the basics on synbio and its attempts to engineer life. You can also download and read the comic book that accompanies it here. Full script: So here’s a thought experiment. What if living things were actually machines? The sort of machines that you could take apart, reprogram, and rewire to do something entirely new? If so, plants could just be rewired to glow like light bulbs or [More]

Oct 152014
 
Northern “Syn Bio Club” Blasted for Impeding UN Talks Progress

Synthetic Biology States vs. the Rest of the World PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA–Tensions are rising at UN talks concerning oversight of synthetic biology technology, sometimes called extreme genetic engineering. A small club of wealthy nations with powerful biotech industries, (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland, Brazil and the European Union) have been clashing with developing countries from Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean over the need for international governance frameworks for synthetic biology. The [More]

Oct 082014
 
Synthetic Biology Could Open a Whole New Can of Worms

This article originally appeared at IPS News. by Desmond Brown PYEONGCHANG, Republic of Korea, Oct 7 2014 (IPS) – Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is the world’s leading producer of vetiver. In the southwest of the country, vetiver production is hard to ignore. Driving into Les Cayes, the largest town in the south, one is greeted by fields of vetiver on either side of the road. The same is true if driving from [More]