Biotechnology

The GM Pig

Health Canada could soon approve the first genetically modified (GM) animal for human consumption. The University of Guelph has applied for food safety approval of its GM pig - they call it “Enviropig™”.
 
The GM pig contains genetic material from a mouse and E-coli bacteria, and is engineered to excrete less phosphorus in its feces.

Genetic Engineering: Synthetic Organism

Globe and Mail, May 21 2010, page A2 - Second Life:  A Breakthrough leads to first synthetic organism.   This headline may excite us about how great this scientific discovery is - but does it not also alarm us somewhat?  Do we really know enough about nature, the environment, and the potential of these developments to say so categorically that the creation of articficial life is going to benefit society?  Genome-mapping pioneer, J Craig Venter states, "This is the first self-replicating species we've had on the planet whose parent is a computer".    I

GMO foods

At the Biotechnology Reference Group of the Canadian Council of Churches recent meeting on April 20 we reviewed the development of a curriculum on biotechnology issues for faith groups.   We also reviewed a draft petition on the labelling of GMO foods which the BRG is considering submitting the Federal Commissioner on Environment and Sustainable Development.  In the petition we will ask the Commissioner whether or not the Government of Canada has reviewed the effectiveness of voluntary labelling; reviewed what other jurisdictions are doing re labelling of GMOs, and

GM Agriculture

The debate on GM agriculture continues.  Switzerland has extended a moratorium on genetically engineered plants and animals by three years.   The first harvest of genetically modified bananas in Australia has been picked.   Bayer CropScience must pay about $2 million for losses sustained by two Missouri farmers when an experimental variety of rice cross-bred with their crops.  The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has released a 49 page draft social statement on genetics, a framework for discussion.  Private Member's Bill C-474 survived second ho

Genetically Modified agriculture

Proponents say that genetically modified agriculture has been around for thousands of years - and mention bread, beer and corn. Critics say but these technologies were not splicing genes from one species into another. And in any case, there are other issues to consider: the longterm risks and benefits. Who benefits? Who bears the risks? And how are the decisions made? The Biotechnology Reference Group of the Canadian Council of Churches recently held a symposium on this and other emerging technologies. These technologies are not going to go away.

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