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GM wheat for increased yield

Scientists from Rothamsted Research, the University of Essex and Lancaster University provided an update on a new research project with GM wheat plants that have been engineered to carry out photosynthesis more efficiently. This trait has the potential for increased yields. read more

expert reaction to Defra confirmation of recall of unauthorised GM seed

The GM Inspectorate of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed that it has found the unintended presence of genetically modified seed in a batch of conventional oilseed rape imported from France, with seed from the same batch being recalled. A statement said: “there is no risk to adjacent crops or the wider environment”. read more

expert reaction to study investigating content of and contaminants in laboratory rodent diets

The diets of rodents in food safety and toxicology studies is the topic of a paper published in the journal PLOS ONE, in which the authors report the presence of contaminants including heavy metals, pesticides, and genetically modified organisms in the feed or lab rodents. The authors go on to suggest that such contaminants could affect the reliability of toxicity testing in general. read more

publication of the results of the 5 year project to develop for the first time wheat that is genetically engineered to repel aphids

The full results of the controversial GM wheat field trial held by Rothamsted Research in 2012-2013 are published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports. The first year of the trial, labelled by journalists as ‘the whiffy wheat’ trial, caused significant public attention when Take the Flour Back was formed to campaign against the field trial and held a protest at the site. The campaign became a something of a cause célèbre when the Rothamsted Researchers fought back with a YouTube video and petition appealing to activists not to destroy the trial site. In the event the campaigners did not disrupt the research and had no bearing on the performance of the trial or the gathering of results. read more

new crop breeding technologies: genome engineering and beyond

Recent advances in genome engineering make it possible to precisely alter DNA sequences in living cells, providing unprecedented control over a plant’s genetic material. This briefing enabled journalists to find out about molecular genetic techniques for genome editingand tools for epigenetic modification. read more

Council for Science and Technology new report on GM

The Council for Science and Technology, the body that advises the Prime Minister on science policy issues, asked a group of independent scientists to produce a report which records the progress of the first generation of GM crops, the potential applications coming through the pipeline and the regulatory challenges. read more

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