GFM Network News

The agriculture industry must realize growers and consumers can see the same thing differently.

Can innovation soothe consumer fears?

CRISPR promises huge potential gains for the entire world, but first it must develop signs of consumer acceptance

Reading Time: 7 minutes Agriculture has done a better job of creating advanced genetics than of gaining public acceptance for them. Ever since the arrival of Bt corn and RR soybeans, growers have seen yield increases and simplified weed and pest management spread across crops and across the country. Yet in 2020, a segment of society still opposes those […] Read more

Epigenetics is already working in sorghum trials, and has cleared initial regulatory barriers too.

Is this what farmers have been waiting for?

Based on promising early results, “epigenetics” may help save agriculture from climate change

Reading Time: 6 minutes In the past 25 years, the agricultural landscape has seen several significant changes, from the advent of herbicide-tolerant crops to precision agriculture systems and soil supplements. Many were dubbed game changers when they were introduced, and we’re glad to have them all, but they also met with unexpected issues like weed resistance, or they didn’t […] Read more

A small change in temperature could cause more diseases and affect yields in more Canadian crops.

A new horizon for genome editing of crops

The goal is to enhance food security and environmental sustainability — everywhere

Reading Time: 5 minutes In the realm of food production, most people are unaware of just how far agriculture has come. Consider how many plants used for food thousands of years ago are still being used today, but are virtually unrecognizable. By the mid-1900s, selective breeding had become more scientific than ever, but it still required upwards of 15 […] Read more

Dr. Kevin Folta thinks the conversation on biotech has ‘turned a corner.’

How the biotech conversation continues to evolve

As technology changes, activist voices are changing their focus

Reading Time: 3 minutes The debate over biotechnology is evolving as new voices enter the debate, technology changes and much of the innovation in the field is coming from outside of North America. That means that some of the scientists that have defended the use of genetically modified crops over the past decade have to deal less with activists […] Read more

Pest Patrol: Have genetically engineered (GE) crops resulted in more herbicide-resistant weeds in Ontario?

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Reading Time: 2 minutes There is a belief that the increased acreage planted to genetically engineered (GE) crops has led to an increase in herbicide-resistant weeds. However, results from the University of Guelph’s herbicide-resistant weed-testing laboratory indicate otherwise. Table 1 (below) summarizes the number of species confirmed as resistant to common herbicides used in Ontario during the past 40 […] Read more

The GMO debate is far from over

The labelling issue is more about perceived risk or benefit than it is about science

Reading Time: 4 minutes With the Vermont GMO (genetically modified organism) labelling law now in effect, a number of companies has begun to voluntarily label all of their products sold anywhere in the U.S. rather than end up having to produce different labels for different states. They are, in effect, treating the Vermont law as the national standard for GMO […] Read more

Hopes grow for gene editing

This safe new technology promises to take us far beyond GMOs. But will consumers let us use it?

Reading Time: 5 minutes A new technology called gene editing promises to pick up where GMOs have fallen short. In other words, with gene editing, farmers and consumers may benefit as much as chemical and seed companies. But for that to happen, farmers must become familiar with this new technology, they must understand what it can offer agriculture and […] Read more

Current food prices are probably a reasonable reference point to project future pricing trends.

Selling our consumers

While farmers strive to educate consumers, marketers bend the rules

Reading Time: 5 minutes On January 7, the New York Times covered the news that Campbell Soup would become the first major U.S. food company to come out in support of mandatory GMO labelling. It was the same day that Campbell’s CEO Denise Morrison sent a letter to her employees, saying the policy change came from the company’s focus […] Read more

Rather than apologizing for bringing biotech developments to farmers, most farmers and scientists point to societal benefits like the sustainable, dependable production of high-quality, affordable food.

After twenty years has biotechnology really lived up to its promise?

The benefits of biotechnology have been undeniable to farmers, in spite of challenges from resistance

Reading Time: 6 minutes Farmers were practically guaranteed that we were entering a whole new era in agri-food production. Because of something called transgenics, we were going to have higher yields, lower costs, and all sorts of unimagineable farm efficiencies, not to mention that, thanks to this technology, we’d be able to feed the world. But 20 years later, […] Read more