GFM Network News


Trump simplifies reviews of genetically modified farm products

Council Bluffs | Reuters — U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday directing federal agencies to streamline the review process for agricultural biotechnology including genetically modified livestock and seeds. Trump signed the order during a visit to an ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The executive order, he said, would “speed up […] Read more

This photo and graphic from Aleph Farms’ website says it can produce beef from cultured cells in just three weeks — although the steak pictured in the graphic differs from the meat featured in a company video.

Cargill touts investment in ‘cultured meat’

Global giant says lab-grown beef will ‘complement’ its meat business

Cargill has bought a share of a company that claims it is “leading the slaughter-free meat revolution for a healthier world.” The Minneapolis company, one of the world’s largest beef processors, says it is investing in Aleph Farms, an Israeli startup that said in December it successfully created steak by using cultured bovine cells. “Aleph […] Read more


This illustration shows how CRISPR-Cas9 technology could be used to genomically edit a species of the streptococcus bacterium. The Cas9 nuclease protein (in blue) uses a guide RNA sequence (purple) to cut DNA (green) at a complementary site.

Where are the Canadian genome-editing startups?

Looser regulations give the U.S. an edge in GE product development, but Canadians are working on gene editing, too

Genome editing has made some major strides in the past year. Minnesota-based Calyxt struck a deal with a processor to make oil from its GE soybeans, in which the genes responsible for trans fats have been ‘turned off.’ And SU Canola (a sulfonyurea herbicide-resistant variety) was given its Canadian commercial release a year ago by […] Read more

U.S. to seek comprehensive ag access in EU trade talks

Washington | Reuters — The United States on Friday signaled it would not bow to the European Union’s request to keep agriculture out of this year’s planned U.S.-EU trade talks, publishing negotiating objectives that seek comprehensive EU access for American farm products. The objectives, required by Congress under the “fast-track” trade negotiating authority law, seek […] Read more


CFIA has done the DNA studies on GM wheat found in an Alberta ditch but is no closer to answering how it got there.

Where did GM wheat found in Alberta come from?

So far, there seems to be no logical explanation on how the GM wheat came to exist

The mystery over how seven plants of genetically modified wheat wound up growing next to an Alberta field access road will take some time to unravel. This high-tech whodunit has regulators scratching their heads to figure out how a known glyphosate-resistance gene from Monsanto got into an unknown variety of wheat hundreds of kilometres from […] Read more

Genome editing will not only revolutionize plant breeding, it will offer advances with wide public benefits such as making crops more resilient in the face of climate change, says Stacy Singer, a forage breeder and biotechnologist at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre. Singer is shown here with sainfoin plants, a bloat-free type of alfalfa. Her colleague, Surya Acharya, bred a more hardy variety of the forage using conventional methods but the breeding process took many years.

The next frontier of plant breeding

Advocates say game-changing genome editing is completely different from genetic engineering — but will the public agree?

Farmers need to get in front of the messaging about genome editing technology — or risk seeing it suffer the same fate as GMOs in the court of public opinion. That’s the warning from the chair of Alberta Wheat’s research committee, who is one of many who fears genome editing is going to get lumped […] Read more


The rules are still being written for genome editing

Researchers are excited about genomic editing’s potential to develop new crop varieties without the controversial genetically modified label. However, the regulation of genome edited crop varieties is still up for debate. In March, the U.S. agriculture secretary said his officials won’t regulate plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques. “With this […] Read more



Nano-biosensors have proven effective in detecting sclerotinia in the lab, says researcher Susie Li. The next step is seeing how well the $10 devices work in a field.

Canola may soon be able to text  you when it needs to be sprayed

Nano-biosensors are more accurate than checklists at determining when to spray for sclerotinia

An Alberta researcher has found a tiny way to solve a big problem for canola farmers — using nano-biosensors to detect sclerotinia stem rot in the field, eliminating the need for visual scouting. “Sclerotinia stem rot is one of the most devastating diseases in canola farming, and scientists have worked very hard to try and […] Read more

Wilf Keller elected new AIC board chair

Wilf Keller is the new head of the Agricultural Institute of Canada. Keller is a well-known agricultural researcher who has worked for nearly 40 years mainly in the field of biotechnology development and application for the genetic modification of crops. In this time he has led numerous major research efforts. Keller worked at the Research […] Read more