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News & Events > Current News

Does GMO corn increase crop yields? 21 years of data confirm it does—and provides substantial health benefits (19 February 2018)
On the basis of 21 years data, it is concluded that GMO corn varieties increased crop yields 5.6 to 24.5 per cent relative to their non-GMO equivalents. Also GMO corn crops had lower percentages of mycotoxins (-28.8 per cent), fumonisins (-30.6 per cent) and thricotecens (−36.5 per cent), all of which can lead to economic losses and harm human and animal health. The study also reaffirmed the  scientific consensus that genetically modified corn does not pose risks to human health.

Australian OGTR approves GM cotton (COT102) and canola (DHA canola)
The Australian Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) announced the approval for commercial release of insect resistant cotton (COT102) and GM canola with improved omega-3 oil content (DHA canola).
Issue of licence DIR 157 to Syngenta Australia Pty Ltd for the commercial release of GM cotton
Issue of licence DIR 155 to Nuseed Pty Ltd for the commercial release of GM canola

Sweet way to greater yields (07 February 2018)
A promising technique that make maize more productive even in droughts has now been unpicked and looks set to do the same for other cereals like wheat and rice.

Fast-Forwarding Genetic Gain (06 February 2018)
‘Speed breeding’ enables scientists to exploit gene bank accessions and mutant collections for an unparalleled rapid gene discovery and gene deployment. Combining speed breeding and other leading edge plant breeding technologies with strategic global partnerships, has the potential to achieve the genetic gain targets required to deliver our future crops.

Wait nearly over for Golden Rice release in Bangladesh (05 February 2018)
On the basis of extensive field trail data, Bangladesh is likely to take lead over Philippines and Indonesia to release ‘golden rice’ with high content of beta carotene.

Bt cotton doubled production, minimised harm by pest: Govt (05 February 2018)
Indian governments reports that since the introduction of Bt cotton in 2002, there has been a near doubling of cotton production in India from 158 lakh bales in 2001-02 to 351 lakh bales in 2016-17, and increase in productivity from 308 kg/ha in 2001-02 to 568 kg/ha in 2016-17.

Attitude and consumption of Bangladeshi professionals toward biotechnological products (01 February 2018)

The favourable attitude and marginal consumption of professional toward
 biotechnological products reveal that it is important to expand the application of biotechnology to ensure food and nutritional security of Bangladesh.

GMOs can help world hunger (30 January 2018)
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have potential to combat malnutritional problems in developing countries as they have been the subject of thousands of safety tests. The Independent Women’s Forum also mentioned that GMOs are considered safe by every major scientific and medical association and highlighted that why consumers should not be scared of GMOs.

‘Wild’ genes open up opportunities for healthier, climate-smart rice (30 January 2018)
The genome sequencing of seven wild rice varieties has finally been completed. This breakthrough is expected to provide opportunities for breeders worldwide in developing better rice varieties that will respond to the changing needs of the farmers and the consumers.

Genetic modification laws set for shake-up, with health and agriculture research industries to benefit (19 January 2018)
Australia is set to reform how it regulates new genetic engineering techniques, which experts say will help to dramatically speed up health and agriculture research. The changes will enable agricultural scientists to breed higher yielding crops faster and cheaper, or ones resistant to drought and disease.

With a free pass, CRISPR-edited plants reach market in record time (10 January 2018)
The US Department of Agriculture has given CRISPR–Cas9-edited plants, including a false flax with enhanced omega-3 oil and a drought-tolerant soybean, free rein to be cultivated and sold without regulation. The decisions further cements the regulator’s laissez faire attitude, which shaves years and tens of millions of dollars off the cost of bringing a biotech plant to market.

“Terminator Cattle” – breeding of all male cattle using CRISPER
Scientists hoped gene-editing might get a lighter touch from regulators, speeding new ideas into the food chain. But in January 2017, as one of the Obama Administration’s last acts, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it intended to treat CRISPR-edited animals as if they were new drugs, requiring elaborate and costly safety studies.

Commission authorises six genetically modified products for food/feed uses
Scientific Publications

Current status of Biosafety Assessment in Myanmar
Myanmar shares border with other countries: China in the east and northeast, Laos and Thailand in the east and southeast, India and Bangladesh in the west. Nowadays, border trade with China and Thailand is growing. Agriculture crops including seeds and foodstuff, and animals and their products constitute majority of trade items.

Speed breeding is a powerful tool to accelerate crop research and breeding
The growing human population and a changing environment have raised significant concern for global food security, with the current improvement rate of several important crops inadequate to meet future demand1. This slow improvement rate is attributed partly to the long generation times of crop plants.

ASEAN Commits to Strengthen Biosafety Efforts
Biotechnology experts and leaders in the ASEAN region, including the Philippines, gathered last November 27-29, 2017 for the ASEAN Conference on Harmonization of Biosafety Guidelines and Research Protocols for Agricultural Products derived from Modern Biotechnology, which was organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).

Access and Benefit Sharing: Striking the Right Balance, Proceedings
This proceeding emanates from the Awareness Seminar cum Brainstorming Meeting on ‘Access and Benefit Sharing: Striking the Right Balance’ organized jointly by the Organizing Committee of the ‘1st International Agorbiodiversity Congress (IAC 2016)’ and Anand and Anand, a leading full service intellectual property Law Firm and the Indian Society for Plant Genetic Resources (ISPGR).

Delhi Declaration on Agrobiodiversity Management
The 1st International Agrobiodiversity Congress held in New Delhi, India, from 6-9 November, 2016 was attended by over 900 participants from 60 countries.

India designates the National Referral Laboratories to detect the presence or absence of Living Modified Organisms and Genetically Modified Organisms.
In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 4 of the Seeds Act, 1966 (54 of 1966), read with clause (c) of Rule 5 of the Seeds Rules, 1968, the Central Government hereby declares the following laboratories as the National Referral Laboratories to detect the presence or absence of Living Modified Organisms and Genetically Modified Organisms under the said Act with effect from the date of publication, for the whole of India

Food derived from Provitamin A Rice Line GR2E
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has assessed an application made by the International Rice Research Institute to seek approval for food derived from rice line GR2E, genetically modified to produce provitamin A carotenoids, especially beta-carotene, in the grain.

The contribution of glyphosate to agriculture and potential impact of restrictions on use at the global level
This study assesses the potential economic and environmental impacts that would arise if restrictions on glyphosate use resulted in the world no longer planting genetically modified herbicide tolerant (GM HT) crops.

Taiwan approved the maize event
Event Name: MON87427 x MON89034 x TC1507 x MON87411 x 59122

Biotechnology for food security: more hope than hype
A range of biotechnological approaches, including both traditional ones like selective breeding and fermentation techniques, and modern ones such as genomics, molecular breeding and genetic engineering, can contribute towards achieving food and nutrition security.

GM banana shows resistance against deadly fungus strain
A field trial in Australia has shown that genetically modified banana trees can resist the deadly fungus that causes Panama disease, which has devastated banana crops in Asia, Africa, and Australia and is a major threat for banana growers in the Americas.

Allegations against Monsanto of ‘unsafe’ Bt products and ‘health risks’ are blatantly inaccurate
In the following article, we point out the blatant inaccuracies in the story by Indra Shekhar Singh titled “Thanks to Monsanto’s reckless practices, Bt toxins in adulterant cottonseed oil may be seeping into your samosas” published on Firstpost on 29 October, 2017.

Feeding the World: Genetically Modified Superwheat is Transforming Our Future – SDG #2
The second of UN’s sustainable development goals is to end hunger and achieve food security. It’s a goal that’s getting harder to accomplish as we face growing populations and climate change, among other obstacles.

CRISPR/Cas9: A powerful tool for crop genome editing
The CRISPR/Cas9 technology is evolved from a type II bacterial immune system and represents a new generation of targeted genome editing technology that can be applied to nearly all organisms. Site-specific modification is achieved by a single guide RNA (usually about 20 nucleotides) that is complementary to a target gene or locus and is anchored by a protospacer-adjacent motif.

Revolutionizing plant biology: multiple ways of genome engineering by CRISPR/Cas
The precise manipulation of plant genomes relies on the induction of DNA double-strand breaks by site-specific nucleases to initiate DNA repair reactions that are either based on non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or homologous recombination (HR).

DA’s biggest biotechnology center set to rise in Laguna
Biggest Biotechnology centre by Department of Agriculture is to be established at Philippines Rice Research centre, Laguna, Philippines, to develop technologies and innovations in agriculture sector.

CryoSymp 2018 – March 26-28, 2017
The Third International Symposium on Plant Cryopreservation (CryoSymp 2018). The symposium, to be held in Bangkok, Thailand on March 26-28, 2018, is organized by the Department of Plant Science, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University and is supported by the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), universities, governmental organizations, associations and private sectors in Thailand and abroad.

Engineering species-like barriers to sexual reproduction – October 12, 2017
“Synthetic incompatibility”, developed using CRISPER-Cas9, has potential to overcome the major challenge to applying genetic engineering for the benefits of humankind and environment by avoiding the risk of that organism whose genes have been modified might produce the offspring with their wild and domesticated relatives.

APAARI Executive Committee Meeting – November 12, 2017
Rama Gardens Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Regional Expert Consultation on Underutilized Crops for Food and Nutritional Security in Asia and the Pacific, Rama Gardens Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand- November 13-15, 2017
Despite Green, White and Blue Revolutions, poverty and hunger are still the twin challenges being faced globally. Though efforts were made since 1992, when as an outcome of Earth Summit, the United Nations had adopted Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce poverty by half.

New study shows that groundnut immunity to aflatoxin could be within reach thanks to a double-defence approach
Using innovative biotechnology approaches, researchers at ICRISAT have developed groundnuts free from aflatoxins, has just been published in Plant Biotechnology Journal (doi.org/10.1111/pbi.12846)