Category Archives: Energy

Turning Our Backs on the Perfect Solution

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The bad news is that the world is facing a severe food crisis. The good news is that we already have the solution. The other bad news, though, is that misunderstanding, misinformation and apocalyptic scaremongering are threatening to block the widespread implementation of this solution.

When an issue generates more conspiracy theories than the deaths of Elvis and JFK combined, rational debate tends to be elusive. Things like balance, reason and facts tend to get elbowed aside by mistrust, hyperbole and inaccuracies. Today, that’s the challenge facing genetically modified crops and crop biotechnology.

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Interview with Nathalie Moll, Secretary General at EuropaBio, the European Association of BioIndustries

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1. What is the current situation of GMOs in Europe?

While there is relatively little cultivation of genetically modified crops in the EU, GMOs are already part of our daily lives. The EU is a major importer of genetically modified (GM) commodities from other parts of the world. Most of the world’s cotton is GM – Europeans wear it daily and often pay with biotech banknotes. We also use imported GM soybeans to feed our farm animals, something European livestock farmers depend on heavily since there is no realistic alternative.

2. So we don’t grow it but we import what other continents produce – why?

The EU is the largest importer of agricultural commodities in the world. In some cases it depends on the climate e.g. we can’t grow coffee in Europe. In the case of GM crops, EU farmers can’t grow them because they are not allowed to – despite the fact that these crops have been proven over and over again to be as safe as conventional crops and that competing farmers in other parts of the world are growing them and exporting the results to Europe.

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Facts not fiction about GMOs and their benefits

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Most of us have an opinion about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but is it based on facts or hear-say? Let’s take a look at some surprising facts.

Biotechnology is already part of your daily life

When you are reading these lines, you are most likely wearing clothes made from GM cotton, and your fridge is probably full of foods derived from animals fed with GM crops, whether it is meat, milk or eggs. Biotechnology is also used to produce the enzymes used to make many processed foods including cheese, bread, pastries, chocolates, juice and wine amongst other products. Insulin and many other modern pharmaceuticals are equally produced with genetically modified micro-organisms.

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BioScience Boom in Hertfordshire

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In 2011, the 39 UK Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) set out to accelerate economic growth across the country. In their recently published Strategic Economic Plan, Hertfordshire LEP set out a vision that by 2030, Hertfordshire will be the leading economy at the core of the UK’s Golden Triangle (the area between London, Oxford and Cambridge) prioritising the growth of its scientific and research capabilities. The UK has one of the strongest and most productive Life Sciences industries in the world and Hertfordshire is a leading contributor of this success story.

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Better Biotech-Spanish Biotechnology Sector, a Success Story

Over the last years Spain has witnessed the consolidation of its biotechnology sector as a consequence of the growth in the number of companies and the overall turnover, as well as internationalisation processes. Particularly since 2008, when central government support for the sector started to act as a catalyst in attracting the interest of foreign investors.

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Winter 2017 Issue

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