Pseudomonas chlororaphis for controlling corn rootworms

A selective insecticidal protein from Pseudomonas for controlling corn rootworms
Ute Schellenberger, et al.
Science  22 Sep 2016
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2016/09/22/science.aaf6056
The coleopteran insect western corn rootworm (WCR, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) is a devastating crop pest in North America and Europe. Although crop plants that produce Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins can limit insect infestation, some insect populations have evolved to be resistance to Bt proteins. Here we describe an insecticidal protein, designated IPD072Aa, that is isolated from Pseudomonas chlororaphis.

journalistic version:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/09/22/495043248/as-a-gmo-pillar-wobbles-biotech-companies-promise-new-insect-killing-genes

General Mills, Mars and Kellogg plan to label GMOs

How Little Vermont Got Big Food Companies To Label GMOs
March 27, 2016
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/03/27/471759643/how-little-vermont-got-big-food-companies-to-label-gmos

Over the past week or so, big companies including General Mills, Mars and Kellogg have announced plans to label such products …

According to a 2015 poll, two-thirds of Americans support labeling of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.

“Consumers are pushing for more transparency,” food industry analyst Jack Russo told us.

AquAdvantage salmon: genetically altered

Biotech Battle: Are Genetically Engineered Fish Safe?
September 20, 2010
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129939819

A battle is expected to be brewing in a hotel ballroom in suburban Washington, D.C., on Monday, over whether the Food and Drug Administration should approve the first genetically engineered animal for human consumption — a fast-growing Atlantic salmon.

The salmon is being developed by a small biotech company from Massachusetts, AquaBounty Technologies http://aquabounty.com, and contains an extra growth gene that makes it grow twice as fast as conventional farm-raised salmon.

Chinook salmon growth hormone genes

Status (as of July 13, 2014): Still waiting FDA decision

This GMO Apple Won’t Brown

This GMO Apple Won’t Brown. Will That Sour The Fruit’s Image?
January 08, 2014
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/01/08/260782518/this-gmo-apple-wont-brown-will-that-sour-the-fruits-image

Okanagan Specialty Fruits, in British Columbia, Canada, certainly hopes so. His company has created the new, non-browning, “Arctic” apples, and he’s hoping for big orders from despairing parents and food service companies alike. Food service companies, he says, would no longer have to treat their sliced apples with antioxidant chemicals like calcium ascorbate to keep them looking fresh.

The new apples are waiting for approval from the USDA. But they face opposition — including from apple producers who worry that this new product will taint the apple’s wholesome, all-natural image.

consumers who are viscerally opposed to genetic engineering

The non-browning trait was created by inserting extra copies of genes that the apple already possessed. These genes normally create an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which is responsible for the chemical reaction that causes browning.

Yet when extra copies of the gene are added, the apple reacts by shutting down all of them, stopping production of the enzyme and preventing the browning reaction. (Like any apple, these apples eventually will go brown from normal rotting. It’s the immediate “enzymatic browning” that’s blocked.)

Pacific Northwest Suffers After China Bans Shellfish Imports

Pacific Northwest Suffers After China Bans Shellfish Imports
December 26, 2013
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/12/26/257255752/pacific-northwest-suffers-after-china-bans-shellfish-imports

Among the shellfish not being harvested is the geoduck, a long-necked clam that can fetch up to $150 per pound in China. It’s a major export for the Pacific Northwest.

The Chinese government instituted the ban earlier this month after finding two bad clams.
One from Alaska had high levels of the biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning.
The other came from Washington’s Puget Sound and tested high for inorganic arsenic.
Officials in Washington state do not test for arsenic in shellfish.

it’s not the first time China has banned a major import from the U.S.

Beef imports from the U.S. have been banned for the past 10 years over fears related to mad cow disease.
More recently, China rejected about a half-million tons of U.S. corn because it was genetically modified.

Chinese officials have been slow to reveal details of their shellfish testing methods.

The contaminated clam was harvested near the former site of a copper smelter in Tacoma, which had leached arsenic into the surrounding area. Washington state officials have closed the area and are testing shellfish for arsenic.

related:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/dinner-hides-deep-within-the-sand

In A Grain Of Golden Rice …

In A Grain Of Golden Rice, A World Of Controversy Over GMO Foods
March 07, 2013
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/03/07/173611461/in-a-grain-of-golden-rice-a-world-of-controversy-over-gmo-foods

There’s a kind of rice growing in some test plots in the Philippines that’s unlike any rice ever seen before.
It’s yellow. Its backers call it “golden rice.”

Yellow kinds of corn or sorghum exist naturally, and for years, Jennings said, he had been looking for similar varieties of rice. Regular white rice doesn’t provide this vital nutrient
It’s been genetically modified so that it contains beta-carotene, the source of vitamin A.

Neth Dano, who works in the Philippines for the ETC Group, an advocate on behalf of small farmers, says the main purpose of genetically modifying crops has been profit, not helping people.

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Golden Rice Study Violated Ethical Rules, Tufts Says
September 17, 2013
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/09/17/223382375/golden-rice-study-violated-ethical-rules-tufts-says

Tufts University announced Tuesday that one of its researchers broke ethical rules while carrying out a study of genetically modified “golden rice” in China.