USING BIOTECHNOLOGY TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN THE SADC REGION

STRENGTHENING BIOSAFETY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY CAPACITY ACROSS SOUTHERN AFRICA

FACILITATING INFORMED DECISION-MAKING ON THE USE OF GMOS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

ENSURING ACCESS TO SAFE FOOD IN THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

STRENGTHENING BIOSAFETY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY CAPACITY ACROSS SOUTHERN AFRICA

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GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 18
In order to set the scene for new precision plantbreeding technologies that are rapidly advancing and likely to alter the landscape of GMOs, GMASSURE held a workshop to address this topic.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 17
This issue focuses on the unintended effects of conventional plant breeding, as well as through genetic modification.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 16
In this issue, we are pleased to report on the progress that has been made with the development of online resources for biosafety training.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 15
The first issue for 2017, looks at the progress that was made with our activities in 2016. We are pleased to announce that funding for the Action has been extended for a further six months.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 14
This final issue for 2016 provides an overview of the the interactive workshops hosted by GMASSURE in Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. It also focuses on the ways partner institution, Biosafety SA counters misinformation about GMOs.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 13
This issue is decided to a few general aspects of GM crops and their use in modern society. It also includes a study on the contentious issue of glyphosate.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 12
This issue reviews the workshops GMASSURE hosted in July and August.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 11
This issue focuses more on Bt cotton and its implications.

GMASSURE Newsletter 10
Newsletter 10 reports on the recent Joint Stakeholder Conference and takes a look at the controversy surrounding golden rice.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 9
Newsletter 9 explores cultural and religious issues relating to GM crops.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 8
Over the past few decades, much research has been conducted on the safety of GM crops. An interesting report was recently published in this regard, which is presented in this issue of the newsletter.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 7
GMASSURE strives to promote sustainable agricultural practices and enhance food security across the region.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 6
This first issue of the GMASSURE newsletter for 2016 features highlights of the action’s progress so far and looks forward to its final year of activity.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 5
This issue brings to an end a successful year of workshops and training initiatives to share knowledge and build capacity aimed at assuring the agricultural and food safety of GMOs in Southern Africa.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 4
In this issue you read more about the value of “-omics” to biosafety and food security, upcoming events and Prof Ian Dubery
from the University of Johannesburg.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 3
Read about the Science Communication Workshop that was held in Pretoria at the beginning of September.We are also excited to announce another very relevant workshop to be held in October.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 2
Among other things, you can read more about the 2015 Joint Stakeholder Conference and finding robust evidence of GM crop benefits.

GMASSURE Newsletter Issue 1
Welcome to the first edition of our monthly newsletter. Highlights include the biosafety capacity-building workshops that were held in Namibia and Zimbabwe as well as some interesting facts about biotechnology and food security.

What are you looking for
Royal Society president: GM crops feed much of the world tod
Nobel Prize-winning Cambridge biologist, and president of The Royal Society comments on GM crops.
The value of "-omics" to biosafety and food security
GMASSURE will be presenting a hands-on workshop on the value of "-omics" to biosafety and food security. The workshop will be presented in Pretoria and Johannesburg from 19 to 30 October 2015.
Press release: 15 July 2015
GMASSURE, an action of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Science and Technology Programme, has concluded its first year of operation with the hosting of two successful biosafety capacity-building workshops in Namibia and Zimbabwe.

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Rice plant engineered to fight multiple diseases at once
Researchers have developed a rice plant that fights multiple pathogens at once—without loss to the crop yield—by hooking up a tunable amplifier to the plant’s immune system.

African women in biosciences call for supportive policies
Kenyan women in biosciences expressed concerns on the unpredictable biotech and biosafety policy environment and urged government to streamline coordination between relevant regulatory arms for research.

Rice plant engineered to fight multiple diseases 
Researchers have developed a rice plant that fights multiple pathogens at once—without loss to the crop yield—by hooking up a 'tunable' amplifier to the plant’s immune system.

Herbicide use increased more for non-GMO crops than GE crops
Study shows herbicide use intensity increased over the last 25 years in maize, cotton, rice and wheat.

108 Million People Face Severe Acute Food Insecurity
Despite international efforts to address food insecurity, around 108 million people in the world were severely food insecure.

Senegal supports adoption of agric biotech
President Macky Sall of Senegal has thrown his weight behind the adoption of agricultural biotechnology in the country.

Technology, the answer to Africa’s Food Security Challenge
“We need to increase agriculture productivity… one of the solutions lies in employing advanced technologies such as biotechnology,” says Ethiopian minister for forest and climate change.

Mozambique plants first GM Maize field trial
Mozambique planted the first field trial of genetically modified (GM) maize in the Chokwe District of Gaza Province in the southern part of the country on February 18, 2017.

Church leaders in Nigeria support agri-biotech research
John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Nigeria, together with other church leaders have called on agricultural biotechnology experts to undertake research.

Uganda MP wants constituents to be first beneficiaries of GM
An MP representing the Busongoro South in Kasese district, has urged researchers to ensure that the people of Kasese district are the first beneficiaries of (GM) maize that withstands drought and resists pesky pests.

Positive impacts of GM cotton adoption in Burkino Faso
A study found that GM cotton decreased pesticide use by two-thirds, produced more yields than conventional cotton, and reduced labor input in Burkina Faso.

Nigeria to get GM beans in commercial quantity by 2019
The National Biotechnology Development Agency has said genetically modified beans will be available in commercial quantity across Nigerian markets by 2019.

Ethiopia to commercialise BT Cotton in two years
Ethiopia is set to begin commercialization of biotechnologically developed cotton following the adoption of a law that granted experimentation rights both in labs and fields and the conduct of confined field trials of the BT cotton.

How GMOs Helps Reduce Food Waste & Its Environmental Impact
Producing enough food to meet the needs of a growing global population, while limiting our impact on the environment is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges of our time.

People who know about GMO's agree that they are safe
A new study at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) shows that people who know a lot about genetically modified (GM) foods are inclined to agree with the scientific consensus that such foods are safe to eat.

South Africa: Biotech Crops Impact Economy Positively
The Department of Science and Technology Director General, Dr Phil Mjwara, says biotechnology or genetically modified (GM) crops have had a positive economic impact on South Africa.

FAO report promotes biotechnology as key tool in facing clim
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released its annual report on The State of Food and Agriculture focusing on impacts of climate change on agriculture and the implications for food security.

GM crops are here to stay; why should only Africa lose out?
Africa, the world’s second largest continent with 55 states accounts for the lowest adoption of the world’s GM crops – 2.3 per cent.

Benefits of 20 years of GE crops in Canada
This year marks the 20th year that Canada has been growing genetically engineered (GE) crops. Ninety percent or more of canola, corn, soybeans, and sugar beets planted in Canada are genetically engineered for better control of yield-reducing weeds and pests.

Zimbabwe should reconsider GM ban, say experts
Agriculture experts have urged Government to remove the ban on genetically-modified stockfeeds.

Seminar at EU Parliament tackles GM crops concerns
The Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI) and EuropaBio organized a seminar entitled Unshackling Innovation: Will Europe block or enable GM crops? at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium on September 27, 2016 to discuss concerns on genetically modified (GM) crops.

Biotech experts consider boosting food security through GMO
Agricultural biotechnologists are exploring the chances of boosting food security in Nigeria using GMOs.

Brazil approves import of GMO crops from US
Two months after Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture asked the country to temporary lift restrictions, Brazil was approved to import genetically modified corn from the US.

Genetically modified corn’s high financial potential
GM maize can benefit the national economy greatly and aid environmental protection, according to Tran Xuan Dinh, deputy head of Vietnam’s Department of Crop Production.

Food security: GM crops to the rescue
As affordability and availability of food has come under unprecedented pressures around the world due to population explosion; countries have began looking for new ways to meet citizens’ food demands.

Genetically modified rice fights hidden hunger
A new genetically modified rice variety could improve the health of people suffering from nutrient deficiencies in Asia.

Zim scientists dispel GM chicken myth
Local scientists want Zimbabweans to know: Theres no such thing as a genetically modified organism (GMO) chicken.

Traditional leaders weigh in on GMO debate
Zimbabwe must seriously consider the adoption of Bt cotton by farmers to revamp production and improve rural livelihoods, president of the Chiefs Council, Chief Fortune Charumbia, has said.

Bt cotton can generate $40m a year for Zim
Read this interesting article by Sifelani Tsiko. it was written as a result of GMASSURE's Zimbabwe Cultural and Religious Workshop.

Laureates letter supports precision agriculture (GMOs)
According to the letter, when it comes to "biotechnological innovations in agriculture, Greenpeace and its allies "have misrepresented their risks, benefits, and impacts, and supported the criminal destruction of approved field trials and research projects.

Bangladeshi farmer speaks out in GMO controversy
The Bangladeshi farmer at the center of a controversy on GMOs has spoken out to clarify his recent experience of growing Bt brinjal, the pest-resistant eggplant which is under the international media spotlight as the world's first genetically-modified food crop being grown in a developing country.

Economist Adam Smith knew a creep when he saw one
It is remarkable to see broad and bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate come together to pass this GMO disclosure legislation. Republicans and Democrats found consensus on the common ground that a patchwork of different state labeling laws would be a costly and confusing disaster for the nations food supply chain.

Congress passes GMO labeling rules
In a victory for food companies, Congress has passed a federal requirement for labeling products made with genetically modified organisms that will supersede tougher measures passed by one U.S. state and considered in others.

European Greens persist with anti-GMO campaigns
Mark Lynas has become something of a fan of the Greens recently. Although his party membership lapsed years ago, in the UK their Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has been an eloquent and passionate defender of pan-European values of tolerance and diversty in the post-Brexit political chaos.

Greenpeace, drop your anti-science anti-GMO campaign
Has Greenpeace lost its way?

The Nobel savage: Greenpeace�s colonialist ambitions
Golden Rice (rice genetically fortified with beta-carotene to help prevent Vitamin A Deficiency among malnourished populations) has become a dogmatic noose around the neck of Greenpeace threatening to choke the entire organisation.

Greenpeace is more dishonest and dangerous than the Mafia
From its early days of dodging harpoons and Japanese whalers in outboard motor boats, Greenpeace has parlayed media savvy, flagrant dishonesty and an aptitude for political theater into a $360 million-plus per year empire with offices in more than 40 countries.

A plea to Greenpeace
You will no doubt have seen the letter signed by 100 Nobel laureates asking you to end your opposition to genetically modified organisms. I hope you realise what this means: a great number of the most prestigious and decorated scientists in the world are asking you to bring to a halt your decades-long war against biotechnology.

Nobel Laureate Press Conference, National Press Club
Click here to view the transcript of the Nobel Laureate Press Conference.

The red hands of Greenpeace: Mastio and Mahmood
41 winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine say group's anti-scientific activism kills children.

Zimbabwe hosts African Indaba on farmers� rights
Zimbabwe last week hosted a high-level Africa consultative meeting on farmers rights under the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) to develop specific recommendations and proposals for the Africa position

107 Nobel laureates sign letter blasting Greenpeace over GMO
More than 100 Nobel laureates have signed a letter urging Greenpeace to end its opposition to genetically modified organisms.

Hawaii GMO outreach touches thousands
What do the daughter of a Hawaii papaya farmer and a Catholic priest from the Philippines have in common?

Miracle grow
After many wasted years, African agriculture is improving quickly. Here is how to keep that trend going.

Genetically modified (GM) plants: questions and answers
What are genetically modified (GM) plants? Is genetic modification safe? Where are GM crops grown and eaten? Read more here.

No evidence that GMcrops are unsafe to eat
A sweeping review of research on genetically modified crops found no evidence that they are unsafe to eat, but warned that pest and weed resistance could pose serious problems ...

Crop advances grow with protection, study suggests
A team of researchers examined the impact of intellectual property protection in a new study. They found intellectual property protection benefits both plant breeders and society.

GM food generally safe for humans and the environment
Genetically manipulated food remains generally safe for humans and the environment, a high-powered science advisory board declared in a report on Tuesday.

Farmers endorse biotechnology
THE President of the All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kabiru Ibrahim, has expressed his group’s support for the introduction of agricultural biotechnology.

Shoprite to import GMO food
Lusaka,The National Bio-safety Authority (NBA) has granted Shoprite permission to start importing foodstuff that may contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

A seed story
This interactive page allows the reader to understand more about the science behind seeds.

Why farmers are yet to adopt GMOs
The use GMOs are yet to start in Nigeria because some farmers and Nigeria still doubt that the process could be healthy.

Biosafety authority wants ban on GMO imports lifted
Kenya is expected to lift the ban on imports of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in the next three months after the biosafety authority recommended an end to the four-year freeze.

Eliminating GMOs would take toll on environment, economies
Higher food prices, a significant boost in greenhouse gas emissions due to land use change and major loss of forest and pasture land would be some results if genetically modified organisms in the United States were banned.

South Africa to ease some GM crop rules to avert food crisis
South Africa will relax some of its tough rules on genetically modified crops so it can ramp up maize imports from the United States and Mexico to avert a potential food crisis amid a severe drought, officials.

GM technology a safe tool to help meet food supply demands,
More than 1,000 scientists from nonprofit, corporate, academic, and private institutions say that public doubts about genetically modified food crops are hindering the next Green Revolution.

Kenya approves BT maize for limited field release
Kenya’s Biosafety Authority has granted a conditional approval for environmental release of insect resistant maize (Bt maize) for National Performance Trials. Click here for more.

Local scientists creating global impacts in agriculture 
Local scientists could maximise their impacts in food production worldwide if supported, argues Nina Dudnik. Click here to read more.

Issues and Challenges in Crop Biotechnology
A collection of views and personal experiences of eminent scientists, regulators and communicators from 11 countries, in dealing with various issues and challenges in the adoption and acceptance of biotechnology and biotech crops.

Fatty acids from GM oilseed could replace fish oil
Oil from genetically modified (GM) oil seed crops could replace fish oil as a primary source of the beneficial omega 3 fatty acid EPA, according to new research.

Making biotech work for small-holder farmers
FAO is hosting an international symposium on “The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition” from 15-17 February 2016.

Nobel laureate bats for GM crops to fight hunger
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) should be promoted in a big way to ensure enough food production in developing countries, Nobel laureate Sir Richard John Roberts has said, but advocated production of seeds of local food crops preferably by government agencies.

Benefits of biotechnology/GMOS
Genetically modified (GM) technology incorporates desirable traits from nature into crops, resulting in plants that can be healthier, more nutritious and better for the environment.

Magic wheat resistance gene sequenced
A team of scientists from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico, together with partners in China, Norway, and Australia have sequenced and described a gene that can help wheat to resist four serious fungal diseases.

Facing drought-induced food shortage, Zimbabwe confronts GMO
Scientists believe that varieties of drought tolerance maize could go a long way toward addressing the desperate situation in Zimbabwe. But despite the maize shortage, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made in Zimbabwe still maintains that GMOs should remain banned in the country.

SA is world's 9th largest GM crop producer - Radebe
Cape Town - South Africa was the world's ninth largest producer of genetically modified (GM) crops, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday.

Biotechnology can drive Zim-Asset
Zimbabwe's five-year economic blueprint, Zim-Asset, needs to integrate biosafety and biotechnology mechanisms to improve livelihoods and spur the desired the desired economic growth levels.

Tanzania plans April trials for GMO maize varieties
Tanzania plans to conduct trials for new varieties of genetically modified maize that can survive recurrent droughts and pests.

Biotech and the fear of the unknown
Many innovations and inventions being used today had to undergo a stage of doubt, resistance, and fear before they were accepted or adopted. Is the same happening to GMOs?

Addressing GMOs misinformation
Read more about the Science Communication Workshop from a journalist's point of view.

Scientists urged to do more to engage the public
University of the Witwatersrand journalism lecturer, Prof Lesley Cowling, told participants recently at a two-day workshop on science communication that scientists in the region are often ill-equipped to deal with the media hampering efforts to engage with the public.

Why scientists are constantly working on crops
This quirky and informative video highlights the importance when it comes to food security.

Commercialisation of pod borer resistant cowpea
The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) is working towards commercialising and making the Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) cowpea available to farmers.

Cotton industry under threat
The industry is threatened by the fact that genetically modified cotton which is now preferred by farmers around the globe is not allowed in the country.

Top 5 tools for fighting food insecurity
As the population rises and the challenge of climate change intensifies, farmers will need new tools to keep up with the growing demand for food.

Why genetic modification is essential for our survival
The use of modern biotechnology, commonly termed genetic modification, is not only safe, if ethically and appropriately done, but will be essential to the survival of the human race in the future.

GM crops important for food security – CSIR
The CSIR believes that new traits in the production of GM maize will impact positively on the country's economy.

GM grain not toxic
Claims by Melanie Gosling in the article “Toxic GM foods under close scrutiny”, Cape Times, June 9, are unsubstantiated.

Why GM crops have been slow to take hold in Africa
The reluctance of so many African countries to GMOs is also attributed to fears about the impact it would have on trade with other countries, particularly Europe where a number of countries have banned GM imports.

Biosafety Workshop for General Stakeholders in Swaziland
NEPAD Agency ABNE, in collaboration with the National Biosafety registrar’s office of Swaziland, organized a biosafety workshop for general stakeholders on 2 July, 2015 in Ezulwini.

Tanzania can't afford to ignore biotechnology benefits
Tanzania's Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr. Godfrey Zambi, said that Tanzania cannot afford to ignore the benefits of biotechnology.

Africa must modernise its farms to fight hunger and poverty
Africa desperately needs agricultural modernisation. With the most rapidly growing population in the world and hundreds of millions still suffering malnutrition, African leaders cannot afford to close the door to innovation.

As Kenyans stall over biotech farming, South Africans rave
Welcome to Marble Hall, a small municipality in Limpopo, the most northerly province of South Africa, which is separated from Zimbabwe by the famous river which gave the province its name.

Sustainability, Safety of GMO Crops VIDEO
Professor Wayne Parrott of the University of Georgia talks about sustainability and biotech or genetically modified crops. Speaking from the oldest agricultural sustainability experiment in the country, Parrott discusses the safety and environmental benefits of GMO versus non-GMO crops.

GMO controversies - science vs. public fear: Borut Bohanec
TEDx Talk: As Chair of the Department of Agronomy, head of the Department of Genetics and Biotechnology at the Biotechnical faculty, University of Ljubljana, Borut Bohanec possesses a broad overview of classical and modern techniques of plant breeding.

Breaking down basics: What is a Gene?
What is a gene and what role does it play in genetic modification? Great animation by www.StatedClearly.com - useful for workshops or lectures.

Professor Calestous Juma on GM benefits
Calestous Juma on benefits of crop biotechnology (GMOs) and pest control in Africa.

Calestous Juma is the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project.

The Science of genetically modified organisms
Simple animated video explained in layman's terms by Andriy Nemirov (Ph.D)

What are you looking for?

Annual Review 2016
The GMASSURE Action is pleased to report that it has concluded another year of successful activities aimed at achieving the Action’s overall objective of assisting to increase agricultural productivity in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

GMASSURE Banner
This GMASSURE pull-up banner is used to make the action more visible at events.

GMASSURE Annual Review
Read about GMASSURE's accomplishments and planned activities for 2016.

Danish experts dispute Seralini study
In 2012, Gilles-Eric Séralini and colleagues published a controversial study in the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, which caused mass media hype, as well as critique from scientists globally.

GMASSURE Brochure
A publication introducing the objectives of the GMASSURE action, including frequently asked questions and project highlights to date.

GMASSURE fact sheet
Find out more about how GMASSURE links with the ACP Science and Technology Programme.