FOEA Emerging tech Project

GM techniques are potential WMDs and need to be regulated

Proposed changes to Australia’s Gene Technology Regulations would deregulate new genetic modification (GM) techniques deemed “weapons of mass destruction and proliferation” in the annual worldwide threat assessment report of the U.S. intelligence community. Several of the options outlined in the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator OGTR’s discussion paper released last week would leave dangerous new GM techniques such as CRISPR-Cas...

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Webinar: What you need to know about nanotechnology and food

Friday, September 9, 6:30 am – 8:00 am (AEST) Register now While nanotechnology and nanomaterials may be tiny, they have huge human and environmental health ramifications. A growing body of scientific research demonstrates that engineered nanoparticles pose threats to human health, raising concerns about their use in food and many other consumer products. Despite these concerns, nanomaterials can be found in everything from baby formulas...

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Biohacking ban needed

US biohacker Ellen Jorgensen recently toured the country encouraging members of the public to genetically modify microbes prompting the GM Free Australia Alliance to call for a ban on the genetic engineering of microbes outside contained and certified laboratory facilities. Biohacking generally means genetically modifying a bacteria, yeast, plant or animal to change its function or physical characteristics. Whilst such tinkering currently...

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The Productivity Commission drinks the biotech industry’s Kool-Aid

The Productivity Commission is the latest Government body to drink the biotech industry’s Kool-Aid, recommending that GM food labelling and states’ rights to ban genetically manipulated (GM) crops for marketing reasons be removed. In its draft report on the Regulation of Agriculture the Productivity Commission has ignored the compelling evidence from the Tasmanian and South Australian Governments, and other stakeholders, that show the...

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Study raises concerns about the impacts of nanomaterials on plants

The first multi-generational study looking at the impacts of cerium oxide nanoparticles on plant growth has found that plants are more vulnerable to toxic nanoparticles if their parents were grown in contaminated soil. The study by Ma et al. over three generations of plants found that exposure to cerium oxide nanoparticles lowered the quality of the plant’s seeds; slowed plant growth; and reduced yield and biomass. The offspring plants...

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