Next generation of biotech food heading for grocery stores

WASHINGTON (AP) — The next generation of biotech food is headed for the grocery aisles, and first up may be salad dressings or granola bars made with soybean oil genetically tweaked to be good for your heart.

By early next year, the first foods from plants or animals that had their DNA “edited” are expected to begin selling. It’s a different technology than today’s controversial “genetically modified” foods, more like faster breeding that promises to boost nutrition, spur crop growth, and make farm animals hardier and fruits and vegetables last longer.

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has declared gene editing one of the breakthroughs needed to improve food production so the world can feed billions more people amid a changing climate. Yet governments are wrestling with how to regulate this powerful new tool. And after years of confusion and rancor, will shoppers accept gene-edited foods or view them as GMOs in disguise?

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Scientists unlock the future of beer

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The prospect of yeast-by-design is tantalizing for many researchers in the brewing industry.

Man-made yeasts could irreversibly change everything from the biofuel to the brewing industry. A team of geneticists led by Jef Boeke at Johns Hopkins University is genetically engineering a yeast from scratch, as part of the Synthetic Yeast 2.0 project. They have designed and written a code made up of roughly 11 million letters of DNA—the As, Cs, Gs, and Ts that write the book of life—which they are synthesizing and subbing in for a yeast’s natural DNA.

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Is there any hope for a non-genetically modified future in America, or Africa?

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It is really only a matter of time before our food crisis becomes crippling.

In the past few days a number of interesting articles have been circulating, all discussing genetically modified crops and starkly different versions of the future of food. One one hand we have the state of affairs in the US. On the other we have the future Bill Gates would like to manifest in Africa, all in the supremely laudable goal of reducing poverty and hunger, which looks an awful like the current situation in America.

It’s not a pretty picture, for people, for farmers, for the planet…

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“Anonymous” hackers attack Monsanto and Tar Sands Oil Companies

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Anonymous has chosen to attack Monsanto and Oil Companies involved in the Tar Sands project in Canada.

The notorious activist hacking group “Anonymous” has launched two new campaigns championing a pair of green causes — helping U.S. farmers earn the right to label their food as “GMO-free” and working to obstruct the expansion of the devastating tar sands oil project in Alberta, Canada. Monsanto, the giant biotech firm, has confirmed it was the victim of a large-scale hacking attack. And the oil companies are next, Anonymous says…

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Federal Judge Bans Genetically Modified Sugar Beets

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Sugar Beets

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White revoked a five-year-old approval of genetically altered sugar beets from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Judge White cited the USDA’s insufficient testing of weedkiller-tolerant sugar beets and their possible effects to the environment.

Genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets are already planted on more than one million acres of farmland, spanning 10 different states from Michigan to Oregon. In fact, the Roundup-resistant gene is present in 95-percent of U.S.-grown sugar beet plants…

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Monsanto Takes Fight To Control Your Food To Supreme Court

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The battle over the non-regulated status of genetically modified crops has reached the US Supreme Court. Monsanto has, not surprisingly, appealed a lower court decision that halted the continued unregulated release and planting of the agrifood giant’s Roundup Ready Alfalfa.

Background and implications of the case, after the jump…

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Are Regulators Dropping The Ball On Biocrops?

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Biotech on the Rampage!

Robert Kremer, a U.S. government microbiologist who studies Midwestern farm soil, has spent two decades analyzing the rich dirt that yields billions of bushels of food each year and helps the United States retain its title as breadbasket of the world.

Kremer’s lab is housed at the University of Missouri and is literally in the shadow of Monsanto Auditorium, named after the $11.8 billion-a-year agricultural giant Monsanto Co.. Based in Creve Coeur, Missouri, the company has accumulated vast wealth and power creating chemicals and genetically altered seeds for farmers worldwide.

But recent findings by Kremer and other agricultural scientists are raising fresh concerns about Monsanto’s products and the Washington agencies that oversee them. The same seeds and chemicals spread across millions of acres of U.S. farmland could be creating unforeseen problems in the plants and soil, this body of research shows.

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