U.S. food industry lobbying spikes amid GMO fight-report

by jeeg 31. July 2014 20:29
U.S. food companies spent almost as much lobbying Congress in the first quarter of 2014 as they did in the full year in 2013, a sign the industry may have intensified its fight against state labeling requirements for genetically engineered foods, according to a report released Tuesday. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), along with companies such as PepsiCo Inc and Coca-Cola Co contributed to the $9 million in spending related to such lobbying efforts in the first quarter of 2014, ac... [More]

Mining Your Genetic Data for Profit: The Dark Side of Biobanking

by jeeg 30. July 2014 22:55
  Most people are now familiar with big data and how it’s used to target advertising or suggest love matches based on the data we drop as we move through life in the digital age. In exchange for tech freebies, data space in the cloud, or that new dating app, we do a quick cost-benefit analysis, we click “agree” on user licenses, and dive in. We share our preferences, our locations, our wish lists, tastes, and moods. But would you do the same with your blood? In a... [More]

In Search for Killer, DNA Sweep Exposes Intimate Family Secrets in Italy

by jeeg 30. July 2014 00:51
  The body of Yara Gambirasio, a 13-year-old student, was found on a chilly day in a quiet northern city in Lombardy in February 2011, three months after she was reported missing following a gymnastics practice. The autopsy showed she had been beaten but not sexually abused, stabbed several times and left to die in a field less than 10 miles from her home. The autopsy also revealed stains on the young girl’s frayed clothing: a liquid that contained the DNA of a person whom investi... [More]

UK Government Accused of GM Baby Cover Up

by jeeg 30. July 2014 00:40
  The government has been accused of misleading the public by refusing to acknowledge that babies born through a new controversial IVF technique will be 'genetically modified.' Last week, the government gave the green light to a new 'three parent' fertility technique which will use donor DNA from a ‘second mother’ to fix genetic defects. Scientists say the process will create ‘GM babies’ because the genetic changes will be passed down to future generati... [More]

Who’s Keeping Your Data Safe in DNA Banks?

by jeeg 26. July 2014 01:45
  Thinner than average, with serious, shadowed eyes, Kevin Anderson, 36, has worked as a filmmaker for over 10 years. He’s traveled throughout Europe and the Americas producing web and sports videos, news packages and documentary shorts. In his infancy, he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease, phenylketonuria (commonly referred to as PKU), where the body cannot properly break down protein. Throughout his life, he has taken medicine and followed a special low-protein diet, but ... [More]

Harvard scientists want gene-manipulation debate

by jeeg 25. July 2014 10:45
  A powerful new technology could be used to manipulate nature by “editing” the genes of organisms in the wild, enabling researchers to block mosquitoes’ ability to spread malaria, for example, or to make weeds more vulnerable to pesticides, Harvard scientists said Thursday. In an unusual step, however, the Boston team called for a public debate on the wisdom of its audacious idea, which the scientists say could lead to inadvertent species extinctions, new genes spread... [More]

Leader of Troubled Lab Steps Down, C.D.C. Says

by jeeg 25. July 2014 10:39
  The leader of the federal bioterrorism lab in which careless procedures may have exposed dozens of workers to live anthrax has resigned, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday. Michael Farrell, who had led the Bioterror Rapid Response and Advanced Technology Laboratory since 2009, “voluntarily resigned” on Tuesday, said Thomas Skinner, a C.D.C. spokesman. “It was his decision,” Mr. Skinner added. The lab’s management has been ... [More]

GMO labeling initiative qualifies for Oregon ballot

by jeeg 25. July 2014 10:34
  Oregonians will decide in November whether they want to mandate that companies label genetically modified foods. The Secretary of State's Office Wednesday certified 118,780 signatures - well above the 87,213 needed to qualify for the 2014 ballot. "In only six weeks, we were able to collect more than 31,500 signatures more than the number needed to qualify," said Sandeep Kaushik, campaign spokesman for Oregon Right to Know. "That is a powerful indication that Oregonians understand t... [More]


by jeeg 24. July 2014 11:45
  Allegations of bizarre and potentially illegal conduct within the World Intellectual Property Organisation have raised serious questions, after The Register obtained access to an internal report indicating reasonable grounds to suspect serious misconduct within the UN agency. The report, published exclusively by The Register today, outlines serious allegations against WIPO chief Francis Gurry. The organisation's staff council has also demanded a prompt and independent investigatio... [More]

The CDC's Problems Are Deeper Than Mailing the Wrong Stuff, as They Proved in Dallas

by jeeg 24. July 2014 11:43
  Sloppy handling of deadly viruses at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, including shipping a deadly virus to a lab by mistake, has spurred calls for an independent investigation of the agency. The head of of it concedes in a New York Times piece this morning there may be a "potential for hubris."     But hubris may be the least of it. Based on our experience here with the CDC and its role in promoting aerial spraying for West Nile Disease, we need to hope whoever does... [More]
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