Where can I find information about genetic modification?

Posted on April 09, 2015

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In this age of the World Wide Web we can travel (virtually at least) to any place on earth, learn about people, animals, foods and technologies; imagination is the only limit. Information is available at the push of a button.

The wonderful thing is anyone can post anything and add their voice to the Web. The problem is that anyone can post anything – true or not. Critical thinking skills are crucial in order to avoid being swept away by numerous sites that try to pass off ‘pseudoscience’ as the real thing. Biotechnology (and specifically genetic modification or engineering) is a target for environmental groups like Greenpeace.

One can only speculate about their motivation. With recent demand for labelling of foods produced through genetic modification (GM), opposition to the technology seems to be seeping into the public vernacular.

Arguments opposing labelling are many: GM is a process, not a product; labelling is normally reserved for safety issues (e.g. allergens); labelling would imply that these products pose a risk, even though countless studies have shown that they are safe. In this part of the world, GM crops such as canola have reduced pesticide use, with higher production rates, reduced soil erosion and increased carbon capture thanks to the practice of zero-till. The technology has had a huge impact on our environment, on the lives of farmers and on the provincial economy.

In the developing world, GM technology can literally save lives and mean the difference between whether a farmer can feed his or her family or send his children to school. One example is Golden Rice, modified to contain high levels of beta-carotene in order to prevent vitamin A deficiency, which can lead to blindness and even death.

Ag-West Bio works to counter some of the anti-GMO rhetoric through blogs, letters to editors, social media and outreach events, such as Agriculture in the City and National Biotechnology Week. We will continue this effort, working with our partners and drawing on the expertise available to inform the public that biotechnology is a safe and valuable tool, and that the scientific process can be trusted to expose poor quality research.

We have compiled the following list of links to websites and blogs that are good sources of information on bioscience, including biotechnology and genetic modification.

Please note that clicking on these links will take you away from the Ag-West Bio website, and that we do not control the content of these sites. (If you discover a broken link, please let us know!)

Science websites: 
Academics Review
AgBioWorld
AgriBiotech
Best Food Facts
Biofortified
BIO International
CABI
DoubleXScience 
Find Our Common Ground
GMO Answers
GMO Skepti-Forum 
Let’s Talk Science
Office for Science & Society
PBS Learning Media
SafeFruitsandVeggies.com
Sense about Science 
Science 2.0 
Science for Kids
The Biology Corner


Science Blogs:

Applied Mythology - Steve Savage
Cami Ryan 
Genetic Literacy Project - Jon Entine
Illumination - Kevin Folta
Mark Lynas 
Robert Wager 
SAIFood - Stuart Smyth
Dr. Joe Schwarcz Show

Producer Blogs with a science focus:
A Farmer's Life - Brian Scott 
A Year in the Life of a Farmer - Jake Leguee 
Cause Matters - Michele Payn-Knoper
Nurse Loves Farmer - Sarah Schultz
The Adventures of Dairy Carrie – Carrie Mess
The Credible Hulk 
The Foodie Farmer - Jennifer Schmidt
The Fanning Mill - Rob Wallbridge  


Agriculture Websites:
Ag More Than Ever 
Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan
Real Agriculture
The Real Dirt on Farming



 

Jackie Robin
Communications Director Ag-West Bio