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Communication between plants and honey bees more complex

Molecules acting on gene regulation are exchanged across species’ borders

18 August 2021 / A new scientific publication shows that honey bees can take up specific RNA molecules produced by plants via their gut, and that these molecules could interfere with gene regulation in the pollinators. The research looked at so-called miRNAs produced in the pollen of sunflowers and Sidr (Ziziphus spina-christi). The miRNA was found inside intestinal cells and could influence several gene functions that are, for example, linked to exploratory behaviour and development of the larvae.

Genetically engineered rice to be cultivated in the Philippines

Testbiotech warns of consequences for biodiversity and regional varieties

4 August 2021/ According to the International Rice Research Institute, IRRI, so-called Golden Rice has been approved for cultivation in the Philippines. This approval has been harshly criticized by the Philippine organization, MASIPAG, which many rice farmers are members of. They voiced their concerns that the project is not about help for local communities, but will instead promote dependency on the biotech industry.

EU Commission treating risk assessment of transgenic plants as a formality

Testbiotech requests for a revision of GE soybean and maize approvals

30 July 2021 / The EU Commission rejected a Testbiotech request for the internal review of three EU approvals. The import of the GE (genetically engineered) plants and their usage in food and feed was authorised by the EU Commission in January 2021. The transgenic plants (maize and soybean) produce insecticides and are designed to be resistant to herbicides, such as glyphosate. Testbiotech filed a request for a review of the decision in March because risk assessment was not carried out in accordance with the EU regulations.

EU Commission spreading misinformation

Testbiotech warns against disregarding scientific evidence

14 July 2021 / The EU Commission has rejected criticism of its report on plants and New GE (New Genetic Engineering, genome editing). In a letter to Testbiotech, the Commission stated that there were no new risks associated with plants derived from genetically engineered plants compared to conventionally bred plants, as long as no transgenes were inserted. The Commission is directly repeating claims made by industry and affiliated experts that are contrary to existing scientific evidence. Testbiotech is therefore warning against the spread of misinformation and disregard of science.

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