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The OrB program has been discontinued.

Check this page for future developments.

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Outreach in Biotechnology (OrB) connects you to accurate information about how biotechnology is used for producing food & fuel, and its impacts on human health, environment, and prosperity.   Read on...

GMO FACT SHEET -- The Basics on Science and Issues

LECTURES given by OSU professors on GMO issues

OSU/CAS Committee:  Food Safety Assessment and Regulations for GMOs in Agriculture

Food for Thought

putting it all on the table

For seven years now, OrB's Food for Thought Lecture Series has brought internationally recognized experts to OSU to speak about ways that biotechnology can support sustainable agriculture.  OSU Press Release

Lectures are free and open to the public. They're held Wednesday or Thursday evenings at 7:00p in the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU Campus.

Every talk is followed by audience discussion and a chance to mix & mingle with the speaker. Refreshments are provided!

Past FFT lectures are available on  iTunes and YouTube, and are accompanied by study guides.

Biotech in the news

New CAST Issue Paper Looks at the Cloudy Debate Regarding GE Food Labeling

CAST Issue Paper 54 Although genetically engineered (GE) products are used around the world, the issue becomes contentious when they are present in our food. A key part of the resulting debate centers on proposals regarding the mandatory labeling of GE food. With some states considering legislation to mandate such labels, this CAST Issue Paper examines arguments for and against labels, the costs involved with labeling, and experiences in countries that use mandatory labeling.

CAST Issue Paper 54 and its companion Ag quickCAST is available to download at www.cast-science.org/publications.

A quick lesson on GMO technology

ABCs_of_GMOs The ABCs of GMOs
The Seattle Times, 10 August 2013

Washington voters will decide in November whether to require labeling of most genetically engineered foods. Here's a primer on how the technology works, how it differs from conventional breeding, and the prevalence of genetically engineered foods in American fields and markets.

Vandalism against Golden Rice crop spurs outcry in support of biotechnology

Golden Rice Golden Rice: Lifesaver?
The New York Times, 24 August 2013

In the Philippines, 400 protestors destroyed field trials of the biofortified crop Golden Rice, which is modified to produce beta carotene, the source of vitamin A. Golden Rice is being developed by a nonprofit to combat the vitamin A deficiencies which affect millions of people in Asia and Africa, and lead to blindness and death. Many citizens and many scientists are concerned that anti-GMO crimes and rhetoric threaten the future not only of biofortified rice, but also of biotechnology as a tool for improving nutrition and agricultural efficiency throughout the world.”

Ecovandalism of Oregon beet crops may cost $1 million

Bt Corn Tensions between organic growers, GMO company peaked days before beet destruction in Southern Oregon
OregonLive, 15 July 2013

Organic growers and representatives from GM seed producer Syngenta were discussing strategies for preventing cross-contamination of pollen between their respective crops. Shortly after the discussions broke-down, two GM beet fields were destroyed in what the FBI has called “economic sabotage.”

Pesticide use grows as corn rootworms develop resistance

Bt Corn As predicted, some biotech corn varieties lose their effectiveness in wake of poor crop management
NPR, 09 July 2013

Many farmers are returning to heavy use of pesticides to combat corn rootworm infestations throughout the Midwest. Pesticide use dropped sharply with the advent of corn containing a gene that makes plants poisonous to the corn rootworm but harmless to other creatures, but recently the rootworm appears to be developing resistance. Experts recommend rotating crops to rather than relying exclusively on biotech corn or pesticides.

GMO wheat lawsuit may reveal farm origin

Oregon Wheat Cases could yield grower, location of GM wheat find
Capital Press, 26 June 2013

Several lawsuits have been filed against GM wheat developer Monsanto, alleging negligence in its development of glyphosate-resistant wheat. Monsanto suggests that the transgenic seeds were deliberately planted. Although the identity of the farmer who discovered the unauthorized GM wheat on his farm cannot be turned over unless it is directly pertinent to the case, identifying information could be inadvertently revealed in conjunction with the initial testing documents.

GM wheat found in Oregon sparks economic concern

Oregon Wheat Genetically modified wheat: Discovery in Oregon field could lead to trade problems and lawsuits
The Oregonian, 01 June 2013

GM wheat found in Oregon last week had been modified for herbicide resistance. The USDA and developer Monsanto both issued statements maintaining that there are no food, feed, or environmental safety concerns associated with the herbicide-resistant gene. The strain, which underwent field trials in 2001, was never submitted for USDA approval due to lack of interest from the global wheat market. The discovery of GM wheat could have a significant impact on exports, and Monsanto may be liable for damages if Oregon wheat growers or shippers lose sales.

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