Better beers through biotech

Often, discussion of biotechnology has a “big picture” focus – its utility in helping feed a growing population, the fact that it’s the fastest adopted crop technology in history, and so forth. However, there’s another biotech application that gets less attention, and it’s especially notable during the holiday season: its ability to improve beer! If you visit the Wikipedia page titled “History of biotechnology”, you might be surprised that the first image you’ll see is brewers hard at work making tasty beverages. As the entry explains, the origins of biotechnology came from zymotechnology, a field closely tied to improving fermentation
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Dr. Savage: RNAi mechanism is common, natural

The mechanism by which we introduce the nonbrowning trait into Arctic® apples is called RNA-interference (RNAi), and as Dr. Steve Savage explains, it’s a common, natural means of gene regulation. Unfortunately, some anti-GMO’ers have a habit of using misleading statements to make any biotech-enhanced product sound scary. A longtime director with the Union of Concerned Scientists, a group that has a prolonged history of opposing ag-biotech, Dr. Margaret Mellon recently published an Op-Ed that suggests the use of RNAi raises potential safety concerns. For an overview of Dr. Mellon’s critiques of ag-biotech, we recommend checking out the recording of a
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The failures of anti-GMO bullying

Not many people like to think of themselves as bullies, but when groups of individuals gang together to hurl insults and try to force their own demands on others, it’s an apt description. This behavior is made even easier by social media; and just because the target is a company, not one specific person, doesn’t mean it’s not bullying. A few weeks ago, a coordinated attack from Green America, Organic Consumers Association, Friends of the Earth, Food Democracy Now and other anti-GMO groups swarmed social media demanding that Starbucks switch to organic milk. As outlined in the Delta Farm Press,
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