I first met Jim Thomas, Co-Director of the ETC Group, at a Sustainable Ag and Food Systems Funders conference. Jim had been tracking emerging technologies and their intersection with food and agriculture for some time. When I first heard him speak, in his lilting almost playful cadence, about something called “synthetic biology,” my ears perked up.
He was talking about a new form of genetic engineering that can alter genetics on a worldwide scale – one with little or no government oversight. Continue reading →
In my last blog, I uncovered some of the places genetically modified organisms are entering our world and permeating our very lifestyles. It is safe to say that the rapid advances of genetic engineering are transforming our daily lives sometimes unseen and mostly untested. What do we really know about their effects on the environment and our health? Some insist that the technology is safe and to stop being anti-science luddites. Others hold to the precautionary principle. Let’s take a look at some of the consequences being uncovered by scientists around the globe. Here is what we know: Continue reading →
Did you know that the agribusiness giants such as Monsanto, Syngenta and DuPont have gobbled up most seed companies and control most of the agriculture in the US and Europe? It’s a fact that the world’s top three corporations control over half (53 percent) of the world’s commercial seed market and the top ten control over three-quarters (76 percent)! You can read more on this in my Blog “Sending you and SOS.” They have pretty much wrapped up the deal here in the northern hemisphere with very little expansion left. So now they are aiming to take over the agriculture of the global south, particularly Africa and Latin America. Continue reading →
Last week I went to the beach to take in the immense biodiversity of the marine sanctuary that is the Monterey Bay. While looking for frolicking dolphins, I noticed a number of young people with their eyes glued to their phones. It led me to reflect on how our personal time has been altered by computers and science. I recently learned that the same holds true for genetic engineering. New breakthroughs with computers and DNA strands are occurring rapidly and raising the very nature of genetic engineering to a new level.
This leads me to a question I’d like to explore in this post: What in the world is Synthetic Biology? Continue reading →