Asia-Pacific Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology and Bioresources

News Archives 2017

European commission authorises six genetically modified products for food/feed uses (22 December 2017)
Today the Commission authorised six Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), all for food/feed uses. These GMOs are as follows: Soybean 305423 x 40-3-2, Soybean DAS-44406-6, Soybean FG72 x A5547-127, Soybean DAS-68416-4, Oilseed rape MON88302 x Ms8 x Rf3and the renewal of Maize 1507. The GMOs approved today have all gone through a comprehensive authorisation procedure, including a favourable scientific assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Food derived from Provitamin A Rice Line GR2E (20 December 2017)
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 (11 December 2017)
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.

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).

India designates the National Referral Laboratories to detect the presence or absence of Living Modified Organisms and Genetically Modified Organisms (15 November 2017)
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

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

Biotechnology for food security: more hope than hype (24 November 2017)
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 (17 November 2017)
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 (03 November 2017)
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.

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.

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.

New study shows that groundnut immunity to aflatoxin could be within reach thanks to a double-defence approach (9 October 2017)
Using innovative biotechnology approaches, researchers at ICRISAT have developed groundnuts free from aflatoxins, has just been published in Plant Biotechnology Journal (

DA’s biggest biotechnology center set to rise in Laguna (7 October 2017)
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.

Grey Market: When nearly a million Indian farmers plant ‘unapproved’ GM cotton – September 28, 2017
A number of Indian farmers started growing herbicide-tolerant (HT) cotton in India, though government has not approved it as yet, as reported in leading English daily. If farmers have adopted HT cotton and reaping benefit of the technology, government need to consider for its approval rather farmers are growing it illegally.

CRISPER-CAS9 genome editing in microRNA of rice – September 6, 2017
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that play important roles in plant development and stress responses. Loss-of-function analysis of miRNA genes has been traditionally challenging due to lack of appropriate knockout tools. A group of scientists from China and US studied that single miRNA genes (OsMIR408 and OsMIR528) and miRNA gene families (miR815a/b/c and miR820a/b/c) in rice were targeted by CRISPR-CAS9. Our work not only provides empirical guidelines on targeting miRNAs with CRISPR-Cas9, but also brings new insights into miRNA function and complex cross-regulation in rice.

Genetically-modified wheat used to make coeliac-friendly bread- September 26, 2017
The group of scientists from Spain and USA developed gluten-free wheat using  CRISPER-CAS9 technology. The low-gluten, transgene-free wheat lines described here could be used to produce low gluten foodstuff and serve as source material to introgress this trait into elite wheat varieties.

Current status of Biosafety Assessment in Myanmar (5 June 2017)
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.


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