Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

  • No news has been published yesterday.

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

"New techniques murky for organic breeders"

As scientists devise more intricate ways to create new plant cultivars, organic breeders are wary of techniques that cross the line into methods that are “excluded” under regulations.

Genetically engineering crops to incorporate foreign DNA is prohibited in organic production, as is gene deletion or alteration through “editing” technology such as CRISPR.

However, the propriety of some other techniques remains ambiguous in the organic industry, which is complicated by the fact organic farmers have already been unwittingly growing crops developed with such methods.

While organic growers may be urged to “stretch the rules” to incorporate new techniques, the industry should be guided by its basic values such as maintaining the integrity of life and using ecological approaches, said Edith Lammerts van Bueren, a retired plant science professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

“The issues are not just about safety, and that’s what I want to stress,” she said Feb. 16 during the Organic Seed Growers Conference in Corvallis, Ore.

It’s been suggested that organic breeders could still indirectly use new technologies, such as CRISPR, to identify the function of certain genes, she said.

The idea is “tricky” because such identification could assist traditional breeding without directly altering genes, she said.

However, with limited funds for organic research, it’s probably best to avoid dedicating money to a technological direction in which the organic industry doesn’t want to go, Lammerts van Bueren said.

Read more at Capital Press (Mateusz Perkowski)

Publication date: 2/23/2018



Other news in this sector:

3/16/2018 France: Innovations in seeds production
3/16/2018 US (PA): Penn State-bred grape tomato becomes commercially available
3/15/2018 New Zealand: Māori-owned company to breed unique berries
3/15/2018 International breeders learn latest watermelon grafting techniques
3/14/2018 Interesting hybrids
3/13/2018 "Stronger partnerships can catalyze African vegetable markets"
3/12/2018 Tanzania: hybridizing the vegetable farming sector
3/9/2018 Labour costs of concern to Spanish growers
3/9/2018 Seeding a sustainable future for American agriculture
3/9/2018 "Protecting genetic diversity essential for future of food security"
3/7/2018 The impact of genetic changes on healthy food development
3/6/2018 US (IA): How birds help to produce rare wild chili peppers
3/6/2018 India: CIOPORA puts forward “different-rules-for-different-crops” proposal
3/6/2018 South Africa: Margaret Roberts honored with seed bank
3/5/2018 Pink vegetables are new Social Media hype
3/5/2018 US: Regulatory barriers to biotechnology development
3/2/2018 "National Plant Germplasm System critical for plant breeding"
3/1/2018 Brazil: Genome editing capabilities to modernize crop improvement
3/1/2018 Canadian research strives to leave tasteless tomatoes in the dust
3/1/2018 32 controlled climate rooms for new research lab Enza Zaden