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Letting Gene Drives Loose Outside Labs is Too Risky, says Scientist Who Promoted Idea

But other advocates of controversial genetic engineering technology are moving ahead with plans to conduct field trials in a few years

A large cache of emails released this month show that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is stepping up its efforts to promote the deployment of a controversial new genetic engineering tool known as “gene drive” to help eradicate malaria in Africa.…
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by: Paul Koberstein – December 21, 2017

World’s Largest Protected Marine Zone Threatened By Trump Order

Papahānaumokuākea Marine Monument is the largest fully protected marine zone in the world

When Donald Trump called for a review of some of America’s most spectacular land and seascapes last month, he clearly intended to toss out their protected status and tap them for their oil, gas, and minerals. The president ordered the Department of…
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by: Paul Koberstein – May 18, 2017

Pruitt’s Rejection of Chlorpyrifos Ban Seems Based on Alternative Facts

EPA chief fails to explain what data prompted his decision to allow continued use of the toxic pesticide, environmental groups file suit

The US Environmental Protection Agency under President Trump may have stepped into the brave new world of alternative facts. Last November, after several years of study, the EPA had announced that the insecticide chlorpyrifos poses an unacceptable risk to humans, especially children,…
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by: Paul Koberstein – April 5, 2017

Editing Evolution

Gene drive is a revolutionary new genetic technology that could help eradicate diseases and save species. But is it risk-free?

No point in the incorporated United States is farther south than Palmyra Atoll, a four-square-mile speck of an island located near the equator about 1,000 miles south of Hawaiʻi. One of the world’s 180,000 tiny islands, Palmyra is home of the Pisonia forest, one of the best remaining examples of a tropical coastal strand forest. It has a rich diversity of birds, wildlife and – until about three years ago – a…
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by: Paul Koberstein – Spring 2017

When it Comes to GMOs, the Devil is in the Details

Unresolved safety questions about gene-editing technologies underscore need for caution

While expressing support for the watered-down GMO labeling bill, which was passed by Congress last week and is now awaiting President Obama’s signature, White House spokeswoman Katie Hill told Bloomberg News: "While there is broad consensus that foods from genetically engineered crops…
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by: Paul Koberstein – July 21, 2016

EPA Mulls Ban on Nation’s Most Heavily Used Insecticide

Numerous studies have shown that Chlorpyrifos causes serious harm to children and farmworkers

Scott Krogstad grows soybeans and sugar beets in the heart of the Red River Valley near Grand Forks, North Dakota. Like most sugar beet farmers in the Midwest, he wages a difficult war with the unpredictable infestations of the sugar beet root…
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by: Paul Koberstein – January 21, 2016

A Very Different Kind of GMO is Headed to Supermarket Shelves

Little is known about the environmental and public health impacts of crops using a new technology called RNAi

Soon, maybe within a year, Americans could be eating two new varieties of apple that won’t turn brown after slicing. To make these new transgenic apples, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc., a Canadian company, turned to an advanced biotechnology called RNA interference (RNAi).…
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by: Paul Koberstein – August 17, 2015

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