J.R. Simplot Co. has expressed interest in using GAANTRY gene-stacking technology to develop potatoes more resistant to late blight. | File photo

New GM technique promises to speed new crop development

Scientists in the United States say they have found a new method for inserting genes into crops that could speed up development of new varieties. “Making genetic improvements that were difficult or impossible before will be much easier because we can now insert not just one or two genes, but multiple genes into a plant […] Read more

Gillam, who was an agricultural reporter for Reuters in Kansas City from 1998 to 2015, says she is just doing her job as an independent, investigative journalist: gathering data, talking to smart people and trying to share the best possible information about pesticides and public safety. | Supplied photo

Who is Carey Gillam?

To people who are skeptical about pesticides and leery of global agri-companies, Carey Gillam is a truth-telling hero. To Monsanto and supporters of modern agriculture, Gillam is a campaigner, a spreader of misinformation and an irrational activist. Gillam, who was an agricultural reporter for Reuters in Kansas City from 1998 to 2015, sees it differently. […] Read more

An Agriculture in the Classroom webinar drew fire last week be-cause of its content involving the controversial Arctic Apple, a variety genetically modified to be non-browning. | USDA photo

Agriculture in the Classroom in a pickle over GM apple

An Agriculture in the Classroom webinar drew fire last week because of its content involving the controversial Arctic Apple, a variety genetically modified to be non-browning. The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) said the webinar content had inappropriate product placement and collaborated with Council of Canadians and several other groups in sending a letter to […] Read more


Crop breeding improvements don’t benefit many parts of the world because companies focus technology in areas where farmers have money to buy seed with improved disease, insect or drought resistance, says Margaret Smith.  |  File photo

Biotech advances not helping poor: breeder

RED DEER — Proponents of genetically modified crops often say such crops are needed to help feed the world’s poor and expanding population. They should stop using that argument, says a Cornell University plant breeder, because so far it hasn’t proven true. Margaret Smith told those at the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar March 8 that […] Read more

Breeder says the safety of genetically modified food will always be questioned because ‘there is always another question to ask.’  |  File photo

Consumers opposed to GM don’t understand plant breeding

Everyone has eaten fruit and vegetables altered through traditional crossbreeding, ‘unless you gather all your food from the wild’: breeder

RED DEER — Consumer concern about the safety of genetically modified food stems from lack of understanding about plant breeding regardless of type, says an American corn breeder and professor at Cornell University. Margaret Smith said people have been modifying crops through domestication, selection and cross breeding for about 200 years, and genetic modification is […] Read more


Reduced herbicide use is one of the key benefits of genetically modified crops.  |  File photo

New York Times ignored GM crop benefits

The New York Times claimed Oct. 29 that it had conducted an “extensive examination” of genetically modified crops and found their benefits to be lacking. The use of the word “‘extensive” by the media is a bit of an oxymoron. It is certainly the case in this situation because the Times would appear to have […] Read more

Heather Kerschbaumer is president of Forage Seed Canada and manager of Golden Acre Seeds in Fairview, Alta. | Barb Glen photo

Forage growers educate on GM alfalfa

FAIRVIEW, Alta. — The Peace Region Forage Seed Association has taken steps to educate people about genetically modified alfalfa. It has hired Bill and Jane Farney to meet with producers and government and acquaint them with the risks the crop might present to market access for alfalfa seed. Heather Kerschbaumer, president of Forage Seed Canada, […] Read more

Activists have pushed the notion that genetic modification contaminates organic crops, shelving products like Arctic apples that  don’t brown as quickly.  |  File photo

OPINION: Stop the GM controversy in organics

Organic activists would like you to believe that their brand pre-exists in nature the way fresh air and clean water do. It does not. Organic food exists only because we have come up with a legal framework by which to define it. And it’s a mind-numbing legal framework — just ask any organic farmer who’s […] Read more


The genetically modified Arctic apple, right, doesn’t brown as quickly as the conventional granny, right.  |  Arctic Apples photo

Further GM apple review not necessary

This is a response by Robert Saik to the Op-Ed published (in The Western Producer) Sept. 4 entitled, “Public review urged for GM apple,” by British Columbia New Democrat agriculture critic and MLA Nicholas Simons. As I read this article, I got the feeling that Mr. Simons was either unaware of many of the facts regarding […] Read more

The French government has drafted a law prohibiting GM corn despite a court ruling saying it poses no environmental or health risks.  |  File photo

France plans to ignore court and restore GM corn ban

France plans to ignore court and restore GM corn ban

PARIS, France (Reuters) — France has launched a move to restore a ban on genetically modified corn that was annulled by its top court. It hopes to prevent the variety from being seeded this spring, which could raise public outcry in a country strongly opposed to GM crops. A senator of the ruling Socialist party […] Read more