Genetically modified organism – 6 Toros 6 Wed, 23 Nov 2022 03:42:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Genetically modified organism – 6 Toros 6 32 32 Five students present at the annual conference of the Pop Culture Association South Tue, 22 Nov 2022 19:53:23 +0000
Left to right, Emma Kicklighter, Mandia Roberts, Aylah Birks, Cameron Hutchins and Laila Siyam. Photo by Kevin Cummings.

MACON — Five Mercer University students presented at the 2022 Southern Popular Culture Association and Southern American Cultural Association (PCAS/ACAS) conference, held Oct. 13-15 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Along with the publication of two journals – Pop Culture Studies and Studies in American Culture – PCAS and ACAS meet annually to present and discuss ideas about popular culture, American culture, and culture around the world.

  • Aylah Birksa sophomore in neuroscience from Dry Branch, presented “Liberation, Heroism, and Black Redemption: Having a Dream By Any Means Necessary.”
  • Cameron Hutchins, a sophomore in Anthropology and Global Health Studies from Gwinnett County, presented “What’s So Wrong About Pink?” The modern effects of sexism in the world.
  • Emma Kicklighter, a young neuroscience student from Blackshear, presented “Genetically Modified Organisms Can’t Harm, Or Can They?” » Jurassic Park and the dangers of GMOs.
  • Mandia Robertsa sophomore in Global Health Studies and a Spanish double major from Nassau, Bahamas, presented “The plight of the race that bears the hate you give”.
  • Laila Siyama sophomore kinesiology student from Rocky Face, presented “Evil Begets Evil: How Monsters Are Created.”

“Mercer does a fantastic job supporting student research,” said Dr. Kevin Cummings, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies and Theater Arts at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “I am delighted that we are able to help students who wish to share their work and incredibly proud of the work these five incredible students have done to present their findings.”

“It is a testament to the strength of Mercer students as researchers, Dr. Cummings as a teacher, and the rigor of the University’s Integrative Curriculum (INT) program that these five students were able to write essays in a classroom of class which, after some modifications and comments. , could take their place in the “big leagues” among graduate students and long-time scholars,” added Dr. Cameron Kunzelman, Deputy Director of Fellowships and Co-Director of the Communication Theory Research Laboratory. “I’m very proud of these students for presenting at a major professional academic conference like the Pop Culture Association South.”

About the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the academic cornerstone of one of America’s oldest and most distinctive institutions of higher education. The oldest and largest of Mercer’s 12 schools and colleges, it is a diverse and vibrant community, with more than 1,900 students, dedicated to learning and service through the practice of intellectual curiosity, respectful dialogue and responsible citizenship. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers majors in more than 30 fields of study, including more than a dozen pre-professional academic streams, with courses taught by an exceptional faculty. In 2015, Mercer received a chapter from the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society that recognizes outstanding achievement in the arts and sciences. For more information, visit

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not modify humans or make them patentable or owned by entities Tue, 15 Nov 2022 16:11:34 +0000


“if a human is injected with GMOs, it becomes patented property of the government”, “they take away all your rights with mRNAs”


Factually inaccurate: US law prohibits the patenting of human beings. Moreover, mRNA vaccines do not modify the human genome.

Inadequate support: The 2013 US Supreme Court ruling prohibits the patentability of natural human genes. This decision was completely independent of the use of mRNA vaccines in humans.


COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are safe and effective in preventing serious disease. These vaccines do not modify the human genome. US law prohibits the patenting of human beings.

COMPLETE CLAIM: “if a human is injected with GMOs, it becomes patented property of the government”, “they take away all your rights with mRNAs”


mRNA vaccines were first widely used in the mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19. Traditional vaccine technologies use weakened or killed viral proteins or whole viruses to generate immunity. In contrast, mRNA vaccines contain the genetic information to produce these compounds, especially the spike protein in the case of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, and it is our own cells that will be in charge of this production.

Understandably, the novelty of the technique has raised safety concerns among many people. However, mRNA vaccines have actually been developed for a long time and are safe. Yet baseless claims about the safety of mRNA vaccines, such as the claim that mRNA vaccines alter our DNA, continue to circulate on the internet.

A variant of this claim is that people who received an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19 are now genetically modified and will be owned by corporations or the government under patent laws. For example, a video posted to Instagram in November 2022 showed someone claiming that, according to a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, “if a human is injected with GMOs, it becomes patented government property. “. To which another person replied, “they take away all your rights with the mRNAs”. Based on other copies of the video posted on social media, the video is quite old and dates back to at least August 2021.

However, this claim is inaccurate and has been repeatedly debunked. As noted, this assertion is inconsistent with any US Supreme Court decision or patent laws and would in fact violate existing US laws, as we will explain below.

First, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 prohibits patent claims “directed or encompassing a human organism” in its Section 33. Therefore, humans cannot be patented. As Jorge Contreras, a law professor at the University of Utah, told the Australian Associated Press: “Just because a patented substance is injected into a person, even according to the interpretation craziest thing in patent law, that the person somehow becomes ‘patented’.”

Second, the 2013 US Supreme Court decision does not relate to mRNA vaccines. The judgment was actually related to patent claims of the company Myriad Genetics. In 1994, Myriad Genetics identified two human genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, whose mutations are strongly associated with an elevated risk of breast cancer and patented the two genes. The United States Supreme Court ruled that Myriad Genetics could patent artificial, synthetic genetic fragments of these genes, but could not patent the natural gene of the human genome.

Finally, mRNA vaccines do not alter our DNA. This recurring false claim, dating back to the beginning of the vaccination campaign, is not supported by any scientific evidence, as previously explained by Health Feedback. These vaccines introduce into our cells mRNA templates necessary for the production of the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Both mRNA template and spike protein have a short lifespan and neither mRNA nor spike protein can modify our genome.

In summary, the claim that mRNA vaccines will make vaccinated individuals patentable and corporate or government owned has no legal basis, despite the impression given by some social media users. The claim is based on false information about how mRNA vaccines work and a misrepresentation of a 2013 US Supreme Court decision. mRNA vaccines do not alter our DNA and US law prohibits the patenting of human beings.

100 years after his birth, Kurt Vonnegut is more relevant than ever to science | Science Thu, 10 Nov 2022 17:22:39 +0000

When American novelist Kurt Vonnegut addressed the Bennington College class in 1970, a year after publishing his bestselling novel, Slaughterhouse-Five– he hit the crowd with his signature one-two punch.

“I expected that at the age of 21, a scientist…would have taken a color photograph of Almighty God and sold it to Popular mechanics magazine,” he said. “What really happened…is that we dropped the scientific truth about Hiroshima.”

This weary skepticism of scientific endeavor resonates in many of Vonnegut’s 14 novels and dozens of short stories. On what would have been the famous author’s 100th birthday, Science spoke to literary scholars, philosophers of science and political theorists about the messages Vonnegut left for the scientific community and why he is more relevant than ever.

Science is magic that works.

Throughout his career, Vonnegut has written about hypothetical technologies that predicted not only emerging scientific fields such as artificial intelligence and geoengineering, but how culture and politics shape their effect on society. In doing so, it provided thought experiments and planted seeds for dealing with modern ethical debates, says Peter-Paul Verbeek, a philosopher of science and technology at the University of Amsterdam and chair of the World Commission on ethics of scientific knowledge and technologies. “The authors of fiction do philosophy by other means.”

Irving Langmuir and Bernard Vonnegut watch Vincent Schaefer try to turn his exhaled breath into crystals
Kurt Vonnegut was inspired by cloud seeding experiments conducted by his brother (center) and Irving Langmuir (left) at General Electric in the 1940s.Schenectady Museum; Hall of Electrical History Foundation/Corbis via Getty Images

As a philosopher, Vonnegut was no stranger to science. Pressured by his brother, a renowned atmospheric chemist, he studied biochemistry at Cornell University in the 1940s before dropping out and enlisting in the army during World War II. He then worked as an institutional writer for General Electric and, until his death in 2007, said he spent more time in the company of scientists than writers.

Perhaps that’s why, beneath his persistent skepticism of science, there was always a deep appreciation of its potential. In the novel The cat’s cradle, for example, a dictator on the brink of death urges his people to embrace science over religion because “science is magic that works”. Even in ultimately dystopian tales, “you can see a kind of romanticization of scientific endeavor,” says David Koepsell, a philosopher of science and technology at Texas A&M University, College Station.

quotation mark

Science has never cheered anyone up.

But time and again, the groundbreaking discoveries and cutting-edge gadgets in Vonnegut’s stories get worse. For example, the invention of the dying dictator in The cat’s cradle called “magic” is a crystalline compound that turns water into ice at room temperature. In the novel, samples of this chemical travel around the world and, through a series of accidents, end up freezing all the water on the planet, to a disastrous end. And in the short story Euphion’s Questionan opportunistic businessman takes advantage of an astronomer’s bizarre discovery to create a “euphoriaphone” that hypnotizes society into complacency.

The deep distrust that haunts Vonnegut’s stories stems in part from his own traumatic experiences with the products of modern science. His mother overdosed on sleeping pills in 1944. Months later, as a prisoner of war in Germany, he witnessed the Dresden firebombing that killed an estimated 25,000 people. “So it’s okay,” as he said.

“I was sickened by this use of technology for which I had had such high hopes,” Vonnegut told journalist Robert Musil in 1980, “and so I came to fear it.”

quotation mark

Human beings, past and present, trashed the joint.

Vonnegut’s contempt extended to mankind’s destruction of the environment, especially later in his career as society and politics gained momentum. After speaking at the first Earth Day in 1970, Vonnegut made major revisions to preprint drafts of Breakfast of champions to further focus the book on pressing climate issues. He told a story about an extinct colony of automobiles that had wasted its planet’s resources, for example. Word of these creatures spreads to Earth, where humans recreate them as idols and consequently destroy their own planet.

Kilgore trout illustration
In his novels, Kurt Vonnegut has used the recurring character of science fiction writer Kilgore Trout (outlined here by Vonnegut) as a vehicle to comment on society through the lens of aliens and time travelers.Kurt Vonnegut & Origami Express LLC

“Vonnegut disarms us to imagine different kinds of futures,” says Christina Jarvis, Vonnegut Fellow at State University of New York, Fredonia, and author of the new book. Lucky Mud & Other Foma: A Field Guide to Environmentalism and Planetary Citizenship by Kurt Vonnegut. “He didn’t just want to predict the future; he wanted to prevent this future” – warning of the dangers of a society blindly turned towards progress.

Koepsell believes The cat’s cradle laid the foundation for the precautionary principle, the idea that society should exercise restraint when introducing potentially dangerous technologies. The principle was readily adopted in Europe and has guided policy on nuclear energy, genetically modified organisms, and conservation efforts; various international environmental treaties make direct reference to this principle. But the United States has largely ignored Vonnegut’s message because it sees precaution as “an obstacle to innovation,” says Harvard University science researcher Sheila Jasanoff.

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A virtuous physicist is a humanist physicist.

  • Wampeter, Foma and Granfalloon

Vonnegut urged the scientists themselves to intervene. He believed that a moral scientist was committed to humanism, a philosophy he described as “trying to behave decently without expecting rewards or punishments after death”. A humanist physicist, he said, is one who “looks at people, listens to them, thinks of them, wishes them and their planet good luck.”

The danger, Vonnegut explained, arises when scientists get so wrapped up in their work that they neglect their responsibility to humans and the planet. As an example, he cited Irving Langmuir, Nobel laureate in chemistry, colleague of Vonnegut’s brother and inspiration to the amoral physicist in The cat’s cradle. Working with the U.S. military, Langmuir attempted to seed hurricanes with silver iodide and dry ice, undeterred by the project’s potential to make storms worse, as he seemed to do in 1947. “Langmuir was absolutely indifferent to the uses that could be made of the truths he extracted from the rock,” Vonnegut told Musil.

quotation mark

We are what we claim to be.

For many of the same fears that materialize in Vonnegut’s stories, Jasanoff believes that “scientists shouldn’t define the ethical horizons of what we do.” Instead, she and her colleagues are advocating for a “two-way conversation between science and society,” using social values ​​as a guide to map out research paths.

As society becomes increasingly tied to technology and emerging ethical puzzles only grow more complicated, philosophers and ethicists are increasingly turning to science fiction writers for guidance, says Koepsell. . “Fiction has a certain license to get us thinking about these questions,” he adds. “I’m grateful to have examples like the ones Vonnegut and others provide to us.”

What happens in the brain when it’s too hot? Fri, 04 Nov 2022 10:52:09 +0000

Researchers have found that heat turns off the brain.

Zebrafish experiments demonstrate how vulnerable freshwater and marine species can be affected by climate change.

When the climate changes, which organisms survive and which die? A tiny fish larva offers unexpected insight into how the brain responds to rising temperatures.

“It was pretty amazing, actually. The whole brain lit up,” said Anna Andreassen, a Ph.D. candidate at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Living organisms, whether fish or humans, tend to deteriorate as the temperature rises. Many people have probably experienced this on a slightly too hot summer day. But what exactly happens inside the body when it becomes uncomfortably hot?

In order to find the answer, biologists in the NTNU Department of Biology combined genetic technology with neurophysiological techniques.

“We wanted to look at the mechanisms that limit the thermal tolerance of organisms. Which animals will survive when the Earth’s temperature increases due to climate change, and why? We chose to look at the brain,” says Andreassen.

Zebrafish Brain Cell Temperature

The zebrafish plays the main role when the Ph.D. Candidate Anna H. Andreassen conducts experiments to find out how brain cells respond to temperature changes. Credits: Ingebjørg Hestvik

Climate change causes heat waves

Anna H. Andreassen

Anna H. Andreassen, Ph.D. candidate for NTNU. Credit: Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Animals that live in the water are experiencing temperatures that are rising to deadly levels, and heat waves that cross continents are becoming more frequent. To predict how species will adapt to climate change, it is essential to understand what limits survival at very high temperatures.

“Thermal tolerance has been a topic of research for decades, and the idea that temperature affects brain activity is old. What’s new is that we can now use genetic technology and neurophysiology to study the phenomenon,” explains Andreassen.

NTNU researchers in Trondheim studied the brain activity of newly hatched zebrafish larvae while gradually increasing the temperature around the fish larvae.

“These fish have been genetically modified so that neurons in the brain emit fluorescent light when they are active. We can see this light under the microscope as the larvae swim. These larval fish also have the advantage of being transparent. We can look directly into the brains of living larvae,” says Andreassen.

Losing the ability to respond

This way, researchers can track brain activity while gradually increasing the temperature of the water in which the fish are swimming.

“We can see how the larvae behave as it warms up. When it starts to get extremely hot, they lose their balance and start swimming in circles with their bellies in the air.

The researchers pricked the fish larvae to check their response. They pushed the tail of the larvae, which normally triggers a swimming reaction.

“At a certain temperature, the fish stopped reacting to blows. They were still alive, but from an ecological point of view they could be considered dead. In this condition in nature, they could not swim away from predators or find their way to colder waters,” says Andreassen, who adds that this condition is only temporary in small experimental fish.

“They’re just as fit as soon as we put them back in cooler waters,” says Andreassen.

Biological Research Eline Rypdal

Researchers use fish to get answers to many questions in biological research. Department engineer Eline Rypdal (right) helps with animal care. Credits: Ingebjørg Hestvik

Heat turns off the brain

So far, the experiments have gone as the researchers had planned. By shining light in front of the fish’s eyes, they could also test whether the brain was picking up visual impressions. When the temperature rose, the brain completely stopped responding to stimuli and was completely inactive. But then, when they turned the temperature up a bit more, something happened.

“The whole brain lit up. The closest I can describe to what we saw was some sort of seizure,” says Andreassen.

Normally, you only see brain activity as small specks of light in defined parts of the brain. The amazed researchers could now observe under a microscope how the fluorescent light spread in seconds and covered the entire brain of the tiny fish larva.

“We know that the zebrafish brain has a lot in common with the human brain – 70% of the genetic material is the same – and the researchers speculated that there could be a connection between what we saw in these fish larvae and what you see in the brains of children who have a fever,” says Andreassen.

Next, the researchers want to examine a special type of brain cell, glial cells, under the microscope.

“What we are excited to study here is the activity of glial cells during heating. These cells play a central role in the supply of oxygen to the brain – they both control the level of oxygen and regulate blood flow and therefore the supply of oxygen. Because we can see that oxygen levels affect thermal tolerance, one hypothesis is that the brain stops functioning because glial cells are no longer able to regulate oxygen levels.

Differences drive evolution

In order to take a closer look at what happened, the Trondheim researchers began manipulating the amount of oxygen in the water the fish were swimming in, while increasing the temperature.

“To our surprise, we found that oxygen level played a role in controlling thermal tolerance. When we added supplemental oxygen, fish larvae performed better at higher temperatures, had higher brain activity, and also recovered faster after being exposed to higher thermal limits compared to fish at low oxygen.

Studies on other species have given mixed results when testing the effect of oxygen concentration on thermal tolerance.

“Being ‘insensitive’ to fluctuating oxygen levels could therefore be an evolutionary advantage as the temperature on Earth increases.

“The results show that thermal tolerance is something that varies from species to species. It could be a characteristic that determines whether a species is able to adapt to climate change or will succumb to rising temperatures. Many organisms live in oxygen-poor environments where temperatures can quickly become higher than normal. They will be particularly vulnerable,” says Andreassen.

She gives as an example organisms that live in shallow freshwater areas, in rivers or in the intertidal zone.

“These are habitats where large fluctuations in oxygen levels can occur, often at the same time as temperature fluctuations. In these habitats, fish whose thermal tolerance is limited by oxygen level are likely to struggle more than fish that are not affected by it. Animals that manage to maintain nerve function under low oxygen levels might be the ones that tolerate high temperatures the best,” says Andreassen.

Reference: “Brain Dysfunction During Rewarming Is Linked to Oxygen Limitation in Larval Zebrafish” by Anna H. Andreassen, Petter Hall, Pouya Khatibzadeh, Fredrik Jutfelt, and Florence Kermen, September 19, 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2207052119

]]> Living for the long haul: what are the alternatives to conventionally produced foods? – Echo Log of Pines and Lakes Tue, 01 Nov 2022 11:09:21 +0000

PINE RIVER – In a previous article, we looked at how the corporate takeover of food production has changed the production practices of the food we eat, how nutritional value has declined, and highlighted some of the adverse effects on animal welfare and the environment.

This article presents the alternatives to conventional agricultural products available to us. We will try to understand the maze of labeling associated with these products.

Each year, a greater percentage of food purchased in the United States is organic. This food contains the “USDA Organic” label.

In 2019, 5.8% of food sold was USDA Organic.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s organic certification program prescribes rules for how food is produced and processed, and how animals are managed. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are not allowed and plants are grown without exposure to synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.

However, organic pesticides are acceptable and can end up on fruits and vegetables. To date, the long-term effects of biological pesticides on health have not been studied.

With meats labeled “USDA Organic”, animals must be fed organic diets. Unless the packaging specifically says “Grass Fed”, the cattle were most likely grain fed.

Animals must also have access to the outdoors. However, access to the outside is not clearly defined, so in practice having access to the outside does not mean that they actually go outside.

Additionally, animals cannot be treated with medications, including growth hormones or antibiotics. Although this decreases drug residues in meat, it can increase animal suffering because sick animals cannot be treated with antibiotics and other drugs.

These sick animals can then be sent to the slaughterhouse since their illness cannot be cured. This increases the risk of more diseased meats ending up in the human diet.

Another packaging label we find is “Grass-Fed Beef”. Numerous studies have shown that cattle, fed mostly grass, have less total fat, six times more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, less saturated fat, more antioxidants, and fewer calories.

These findings have led many doctors and hospitals to recommend eating grass-fed beef instead of conventional grain-fed beef.

Despite the fact that “grass-fed” conjures up an image of contented cattle grazing in lush pastures, there is no requirement that the animals graze on pasture. In practice, many of these cattle are raised in feedlots, and while they don’t eat grains, they may be fed a variety of industrial food waste, like discarded fruit (think pesticides and herbicides), potatoes, sweets, etc.

“Grass-fed beef” labeling allows the use of growth hormones and other medications. Three organizations verify “grass-fed beef:” American Grass-fed Association, A Greener World, and Pro-Cert.

These certifications probably give more assurance about the handling of the animals, but the certification does not guarantee that the farming practices have been inspected and approved.

Other packaging labels, found especially on poultry, are “Free Range” and “Pasture Raised”. These terms give the impression that chickens and turkeys are raised outdoors and are free to roam.

However, the terms are poorly defined. The USDA requires some outdoor access but does not specify how long or for how long.

Additionally, there is no space requirement for the birds and the USDA does not inspect farms. In practice, most poultry are housed in overcrowded barns and may stick their heads out on occasion.

“High pasture” has no definition and it is unclear what this label implies.

An alternative label is “Certified Humane”. This tag defines “free range” as no more than two birds/square foot and outdoor access for at least six hours a day, weather permitting.

Certified humane “high pasture” is defined as no more than 1,000 birds per two and a half acres, and birds must be rotated between fields.

You will also find many other food labels. Most labels do not have a standard definition and have often been added by the processor to market their product.

For example, chicken and pork products frequently state “No hormones or steroids added” or “No hormones or steroids”. If you look closely, you will also find a disclaimer stating that federal regulations prohibit hormones or steroids. Therefore, it is nothing more than a sales gimmick.

In conclusion, the labeling is confusing with terms that do not necessarily represent what they say, and are limited to non-existent on-site inspections to verify compliance.

Knowing what these terms don’t mean, as well as what they mean, helps us be informed buyers. In a future article, we will look at the additional choices we have in buying healthy foods.

(References to all factual information cited are provided upon request and comments and questions are encouraged:

Douglas J. Weiss and Barb Mann are custodians/directors of the nonprofit Balsam Moon Preserve at Pine River, a spiritual place of peace, sustainability, and renewal.

India restricts the use of glyphosate Sat, 29 Oct 2022 18:36:52 +0000

In an order issued on October 25, 2022, the Indian government restricted the use of the chemical glyphosate in India.

The Center has officially restricted the use of the widely used herbicide, glyphosate, fearing a risk to human and animal health.

Now, glyphosate will only be applied through Pest Control Operators (PPOs).

PCOs are allowed to use deadly chemicals to treat pests such as rodents.

Glyphosate was reportedly mainly used on tea plantations in India. The chemical is also used in uncultivated areas to control unwanted growth.

These include areas around irrigation canals, railway sidings, fallow land, bunds, farm borders, parks, industrial and military premises, airports, power stations, etc.

The restrictive measure taken by the Indian government is timely, however, it has not banned the use of glyphosate.

Glyphosate, a synthetic herbicide patented in 1974 by the Monsanto Corporation and now manufactured and sold by numerous companies in hundreds of products, has been linked to cancer and other health problems. Glyphosate is best known as an active ingredient in Roundup brand herbicides and as a herbicide used with “Roundup Ready” genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Numerous studies have highlighted the dangers of Glyphosate for animal and human health.

In 2015, the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans after reviewing years of published, peer-reviewed scientific studies.” The team of international scientists found that there is a particular association between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In March 2019, a study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology analyzed data from more than 30,000 farmers and agricultural workers from studies carried out in France, Norway and the United States, and reported links between glyphosate and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

In April 2019, the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released its draft toxicology profile for glyphosate, which reported an increased risk of cancer from glyphosate exposures.

In March 2021, an article in Frontiers in Endocrinology, “Could glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides be associated with an increase in thyroid disease worldwide?” Researchers found that glyphosate is detected in the urine of both rural and urban residents and that there is a correlation between “farmer exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides and altered thyroid hormone levels or the incidence of thyroid pathologies”.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has awarded two Sri Lankan scientists, Drs. Channa Jayasumana and Sarath Gunatilake, the 2019 Prize for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility for their work “to investigate a possible link between glyphosate and chronic kidney disease in difficult circumstances”. Scientists have reported that glyphosate plays a key role in transporting heavy metals to the kidneys of those who drink contaminated water, leading to high rates of chronic kidney disease in farming communities.

A 2017 study linked chronic, very low-level exposures to glyphosate with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats. According to the researchers, the results “imply that chronic consumption of extremely low levels of a formulation of GBH (Roundup), at permissible equivalent concentrations of glyphosate, is associated with marked alterations in the proteome and metabolome of the liver,” the researchers said. NAFLD biomarkers.

A 2020 literature review on the effects of glyphosate on the gut microbiome concludes that “glyphosate residues on food could cause dysbiosis, given that opportunistic pathogens are more resistant to glyphosate than commensal bacteria.” The article continues: “Glyphosate may be a critical environmental trigger in the etiology of several disease states associated with dysbiosis, including celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. Glyphosate exposure can also have mental health consequences, including anxiety and depression, due to alterations in the gut microbiome.

In July 2021, Monsanto owner Bayer AG said it would remove glyphosate-based herbicides from the US consumer market by 2023 due to litigation. More than 100,000 people are suing Bayer alleging they developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from exposure to the company’s glyphosate-based herbicides, such as Roundup.

The call for a ban on the use of glyphosate continues to rage. India has taken a step in the right direction.

India’s biotech regulator recommends environmental release of GM mustard – The New Indian Express Wed, 26 Oct 2022 14:11:00 +0000


NEW DELHI: The Union Environment Ministry’s Genetic Engineering Assessment Committee has recommended the release into the environment of genetically modified mustard which experts say paves the way for its commercial cultivation.

The move comes amid opposition from environmental groups who say the commercial cultivation of GM mustard could have a negative impact on human health and food security.

According to the minutes of the October 18 meeting, the GEAC, the country’s regulatory body for genetically modified organisms, recommended “the release into the environment of the mustard hybrid DMH-11 for its production of seed and its testing in accordance with existing ICAR guidelines and other existing pre-market rules/regulations. Release”.

“Furthermore, to generate scientific evidence in the Indian agro-climatic situation and also as a precautionary mechanism, the field demonstration studies regarding the effect of GM mustard on honey bees and other pollinators , as recommended at the 136th meeting of the GEAC, must also be conducted after release into the environment, simultaneously by the applicant, within two years under the supervision of ICAR,” it reads.

The transgenic mustard hybrid DMH-11 was developed by the Center for Genetic Manipulation of Cultivated Plants (CGMCP), University of Delhi.

The government has so far (as of 2002) approved only one GM crop, Bt cotton, for commercial cultivation.

Those who support the commercial cultivation of GM crops say its benefits include greater food security through increased yields, reduced costs for food production, reduced need for pesticides, and resistance to pests and diseases.

Kavitha Kuruganti, founder of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture, said: “The claim that GM mustard will increase yield is not supported by data submitted by crop developers to the regulator.

When asked if the ‘environmental release’ recommendation meant a green light for commercial cultivation, she replied: “It has been approved for commercial release. They (the GEAC) say that any necessary testing can be performed after release into the environment.”

Kuruganti, who is a member of the Coalition for a GMO-Free India, said Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav had previously expressed his views against GM crops.

“It was the regulator who gave the green signal. The minister should not approve it,” she said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Coalition for a GMO-Free India said: “This compromises biosecurity in a serious and reprehensible way, and we call on the government not to go ahead with allowing this dangerous herbicide-tolerant food crop in India”.

The coalition had recently written to Yadav that “GM mustard uses the pretense of creating hybrid technology in a plant like mustard, but is in fact a herbicide-tolerant crop. The entire biosafety assessment of mustard GM so far has not taken this fact into account.”

“The fact that a lethal herbicide like glufosinate will be used with this GMO is also ignored in regulatory testing (there is sufficient evidence of the adverse health and environmental effects of this herbicide to raise alarm bells for our regulators; this includes the emergence of ‘super weeds’). This highlights a very serious gap in our regulatory regime,” reads the letter dated October 20.

GM mustard is a herbicide-tolerant and toxic hybrid that will dramatically increase the presence of toxic chemicals in our food and soil and therefore impact health, said Rohin Kynar, agricultural campaign manager at Greenpeace. India.

“There also appear to be serious shortcomings in the safety assessment protocols adopted for GM mustard, as non-GMO groups have pointed out ‘there was no room for environmental risk assessment when the request for GM mustard has been processed,” he said.

]]> Does the well-being of our children really matter to us? | By Dr Faiza Abdur Rab Sat, 22 Oct 2022 21:55:02 +0000

Does the well-being of our children really matter to us?

IN THE UK one day as I was walking to university I found people outside a supermarket protesting against the sale of unhealthy food to children.

They were led by a female scientist, who used to buy branded fresh milk from the supermarket for her children.

Having doubts about the quality of the milk, she sent her sample to a laboratory to test its quality and safety.

The branded milk sold in the supermarket has been revealed to come from cattle fed genetically modified organisms (GMOs) traces of which have been found in fresh milk.

The company owning the brand of fresh milk sold was sued. It was decided that all the stock of milk would be thrown away, its consumers in the event of a health problem that could be linked to the consumption of GMOs would benefit from full medical coverage by the company that owns the brand throughout their life.

A huge fine was charged and the product was discontinued until permission was obtained from the relevant authorities.

As a nation, we lack the necessary attention to our children, mainly because most marriages here are arranged for financial support and / or social security reasons without having the sincere will of the bride and groom, hence the couples were unwilling to give needed love for their children and assumed their responsibilities, both individually and collectively as a nation.

Commercially processed foods for our children, especially snacks, contain dangerous synthetic chemical ingredients which, when eaten regularly, can cause incurable health problems including cancer allergies, depression, short memory, loss of concentration, etc

Most mothers, including educated mothers, mainly give their children commercial food products instead of nutritious foods prepared at home from raw foods.

This important aspect behind growing health problems in children and adults is also overlooked by many health experts and practitioners.

The Covid-19 virus vaccine raises health safety and religious concerns. The vaccines available for immunization against infection with the Covid-19 virus confer partial protection for a short period, for example a few months.

These days, reported cases of illness related to Covid-19 infection are negligible in Pakistan with occasional incidences of death.

In this situation, vaccination against Covid-19 virus infection in adults, especially when there are health and religious problems, partial protection occurs during its vaccination, and there are occasional incidences of illness caused by Covid-19 infection with a negligible fatality rate reported daily, is a contentious issue that requires thorough debate while keeping in mind the safety of individuals and health concerns as primary objectives, leaving behind them the research interests of the individual and the benefits associated with the support.

In childhood, very rapid and crucial growth and development takes place when the immune system (defense system) of the body is fragile and not mature enough to fight off insects and develop long-term resistance while repairing the damage caused by the invasion. of any foreign body (non-self).

Covid-19 virus disease rarely occurs in toddlers and children with a negligible mortality rate while the known risks associated with vaccination with Covid-19 vaccines in children are hypothetically very high and many have yet to be determined. revealed.

Before starting vaccination of toddlers and children against infection with the Covid-19 virus, it is essential that there is a thorough discussion between independent experts with a solid integrated understanding of cell biology, biochemistry, immunology, medical sciences, chemistry, food sciences, molecular biology, biotechnology, microbiology, etc.

In Pakistan, a vaccination campaign against the Covid-19 virus has been launched for children. Does the well-being of our children really matter to us?

—The author is Assistant Professor, Department of Food, Science and Technology, University of Karachi.

Food-Free Foods Market 2022-2027: Industry Growth Rate (7.63%), Share Analysis, Trends and Forecasts Thu, 20 Oct 2022 06:39:00 +0000

Food market without food products

SHERIDAN, WYOMING, USA, Oct. 19, 2022 / — According to IMARC Group’s latest research report, titled “Foodless Foods Market Size: Global Industry Trends, Share, Growth, Opportunities and Forecast 2022-2027,” offers a detailed analysis of the market drivers, segmentation, growth opportunities, trends, and competitive landscape to understand the current and future market scenarios.

The global food-free food market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.63% during the period 2022-2027. Food-free foods include own-brand edibles that are prepared and targeted to consumers with food allergies. It includes allergen-free, genetically modified organism (GMO)-free, gluten-free, vegan and lactose-free food products. It follows strict cultivation standards, is subject to various laws and regulations, and is free from pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, and hormones. Some of the commonly exempt food variants include a wide range of fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes, as well as meat and dairy products. Currently, they are readily available in online retail stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, and convenience stores.

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Growth Analysis of the Global Non-Food Industry:

The growing health consciousness among the masses is the main driver of the global market. This can be attributed to the increasing prevalence of many lifestyle-related diseases, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. With the growing concerns regarding the presence of synthetic additives, GMOs and preservatives in processed food products, this is driving the demand for clean label food products, which is impacting the growth of the market. At the same time, the increase in the population suffering from lactose and gluten intolerance, encouraging the adoption of healthy lifestyle choices, especially among millennials, is driving demand globally. Additionally, numerous celebrity endorsements promoting consumption of vegan, low-calorie, and gluten-free food products and growing popularity on social media are creating a positive market outlook. Some of the other factors driving the market include rapid urbanization and growing consumption of packaged and frozen food products.

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Key Market Segmentation:

Competitive Landscape:

• Alpro UK Limited
• Trademarks Conagra, Inc.
• Danone S.A.
• Doves Farm Food Limited
• Schar AG/SpA
• Ener-G Foods, Inc.
• General Mills, Inc.
• Trademarks GreenSpace, Inc.
• Hain Celestial Group Inc.
• Mondelez International.

Breakdown by type:

• Dairy free
• Gluten free
• Lactose free
• Other

Breakdown by end product:

• Bakery and confectionery
• Dairy-free foods
• Snacks
• Beverages
• Others

Breakdown by distribution channel:

• Supermarkets and hypermarkets
• Convenience stores
• Online channels
• Others

Breakdown by region:

• North America (United States, Canada)
• Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Others)
• Europe (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Others)
• Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, others)
• Middle East and Africa (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, others)

Food Free Foods Market Research Report Table of Contents:

• Preface
• Scope and methodology
• Summary
• Introduction
• Global Food Free Food Market
• SWOT analysis
• Value chain analysis
• Price analysis
• Competitive landscape

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Who we are:

The IMARC Group is a leading market research firm providing management strategies and market research worldwide. We partner with clients across all industries and geographies to identify their most important opportunities, address their most critical challenges and transform their businesses.

IMARC’s information products include major business, scientific, economic and technological developments for business leaders in pharmaceutical, industrial and high-tech organizations. Market forecasts and industry analysis for biotechnology, advanced materials, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, travel and tourism, nanotechnology and new processing methods are at the top of the list. company expertise.

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Africa in pole position to increase its organic food market share Tue, 18 Oct 2022 05:23:06 +0000

One of the main reasons people eat organic food is because they believe it’s healthier for them. For this segment of the market, the primary objective is a healthy diet.

They may also believe that organic foods are more nutritious because they are grown under more natural conditions.

Organic foods are grown without the use of synthetic chemicals, such as man-made pesticides and fertilizers, and do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

  • With the new global realignment, Africa is poised to tap into the EU organic food market, the continent already has organic food producers.
  • The global organic food and beverage market size was valued at US$ 188.35 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.0% from 2022 to 2030.

But who is the target market for organic products? Is it just a niche group of people interested in healthy eating, or is the target market much broader?

The global organic food and beverage market size was valued at US$ 188.35 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.0% from 2022 to 2030.

According to Grand View Research, fruits and vegetables have emerged as the major market sector and accounted for 40% of organic food revenue in 2021. The trend of organic vegetables has been launched in developed regions including North America and Europe, and has spread to emerging economies such as India and China. North America and Europe are the biggest consumers of organic food. Nevertheless, the consumption of organic meat, fish and poultry is expected to register the highest CAGR of 14.9% by 2030.

The demand for organic ingredients has increased over the past few years, driven by the desire to improve consumers’ overall health and awareness of the harmful effects of synthetic ingredients.

According to the FiBL 2022 survey, in 2020 the EU imported a total of 2.8 million tonnes of organic agri-food products. The most important countries were the Netherlands, followed by Germany and Belgium. Compared to 2019, organic imports decreased by 1.9% Imports of tropical fruits (fresh or dried), nuts and spices were the largest category, totaling 885,930 tonnes or 27.3% of imports total, followed by meals, cereals other than wheat, as well as rice and wheat. China was the biggest supplier of organic agri-food products to the EU, with 433,705 tonnes; this corresponds to 13.4 percent of the total volume of organic imports.

With the new global realignment, Africa is poised to tap into the EU organic food market, Africa already has organic food producers. In 2020, there were nearly 834,000 organic producers in Africa. The countries with the largest number of organic producers were Ethiopia (nearly 220,000), Tanzania (nearly 149,000) and Uganda (more than 139,000).

The latest report from the European Union shows that Ethiopia, Tanzania and São Tomé and Príncipe are among the African countries on the list of organic food producers.

The Ecological Organic Agriculture (Africa Initiative), EOA (-I), certification in Africa gained momentum through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the continental EOAI Secretariat led by the AU and hosted by Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) and African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) aiming to develop a common continental EOA standard. The partnership will further link the EOA with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to further engage in strategies to boost EOA trade on the continent.

In West Africa, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Togo reported an increase in the number of producers and hectares certified with Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). 2021 was the last year of implementation of the Organic Markets for Development (OM4D) project, which supported the development of SGP initiatives in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo and Sao Tome and Principe, according to the FiBL survey 2022.

Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) are locally targeted quality assurance systems. They certify producers based on active stakeholder participation and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange.

African countries have continued to foster a policy environment conducive to the development of organic agriculture.


In Madagascar, the first law on organic agriculture was enacted in 2020. Based on this work, the first National Strategy for Organic Agriculture (SNABIO) will soon be adopted according to the FiBL 2022 survey. Madagascar is to set up a support policy for organic farming both for export and the domestic market, to democratize access to healthy and sustainably produced food and derive all the benefits from it. The main objective of the law and the SNABIO is to support the growth of exports, to promote the development of the national market and to guarantee the organic character of the products without hindering the growth of the sector.

Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, the Ministry of Agriculture, Hydro-agricultural Development and Mechanization is leading the development of a national agroecology strategy and an accompanying action plan. A commonly defined objective is to carry a coherent vision to make agroecology the driving force behind agro-sylvo-pastoral production that is ecological, sustainable, competitive, creates jobs and ensures food security for all. A recent evaluation conducted by the FAO on agroecology in Burkina Faso identified three major assets: political will, the dynamism and commitment of civil society, and the development of technologies and approaches by actors in the field.

At the same time, a new version of the national rural sector program (PNSR 3) is also underway. This program is intended to be the main federal strategy and action plan for sectoral policies, including agriculture, food security, value chains, land management and water management. The synergies between the national strategy for the development of agroecology and the PNSR 3 will offer a unique opportunity to align structuring investments in the productive sectors with agroecological principles.