Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes
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Researchers from Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital have published an early draft of a study that contradicts findings that suggest using CRISPR gene editing technology can cause unintended mutations. This new research concludes it is challenging to suggest CRISPR technology could induce such changes and argues the lack of appropriate controls in the original study made it biased. They urge the study’s authors to revise their conclusions to prevent misinformation.
Writing for Reason magazine, Property and Environment Research Center representative Shawn Regan takes aim at publicized claims of honeybee population decline. He argues the media has ignored that beekeepers have adapted quickly by rapidly rebuilding hives with virtually no economic effects. He also notes the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that four common neonicotinoid pesticides aren’t threats, which is contradictory to media reports.
Genetic Literacy Project’s Andrew Porterfield says milkweed is a complicated topic. While it is a primary food source for monarch butterflies, it also is devastating to farmers’ crops. It has been fought off with popular weed-killer glyphosate, which Porterfield notes has become a rallying symbol for environmentalists and anti-GMO activists. While monarchs need a solution to the milkweed problem, Porterfield argues planting milkweed in regions where it is not native could pose worse risks.
Angela Logomasini of the Competitive Enterprise Institute is applauding the Environmental Protection Agency’s final decision to permit agricultural uses of the pesticide chlorpyrifos. The agency had been following the research of Columbia University’s Center for Children’s Environmental Health, which Logomasini contends is junk science, but later switched back to denying the petition. She argues this sets precedent for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to lead the agency to create policies based on scientific fact.
I’m Maya Menon with v-Fluence, a global provider of food and ag intelligence.