biotech

Medicare and Medicaid cannot negotiate the cost of drugs – meaning they have to pay whatever a pharmaceutical company charges for their drugs.  This means that the potential for getting fleeced can be pretty high, including on the generic drugs which the public believes are cheaper. Some companies have been re-branding cheap medications that have been around for a while and then hiking up the price.  These sudden, sharp spikes in drug prices have led to a special Senate committee that deals with just this issue. 

Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University and School of Medicine analyzed one rather obscure drug, adrenocorticotropin, ACTH for short. The...

SalmonThe New York Times editorial board apparently has decided that too much science is not a good idea for its readers. It has taken refuge in sensationalist dogma on the subject of the recently-approved bio-engineered salmon by the Food and Drug Administration.

Titled "Tell Consumers What They Are Eating," the editorial expresses various concerns, some attributed to...

Rothamsted WheatScientists working at Rothamsted Research, a publicly-financed center in the U.K., began an agricultural study of bioengineered wheat about five years ago. The center which asserts that it is the longest running agricultural research station in the world tried to produce wheat that emitted an insect pheromone (hormone) which would repel aphids, an insect destructive to wheat. To do so, they borrowed a gene from mint plants known to program the production of the desired aphid-repellant pheromone.

Lo and behold, the GM-wheat worked wonderfully in the lab testing situation. Unfortunately, the...

153697219Dr. Robert Fraley, a top researcher at Monsanto, was recently quoted in a Nebraska Radio Network article, stating that he believed that those opposing GMOs are extreme voices and that most people are in the middle. Dr. Fraley, who is often referred to as the father of agricultural biotechnology, according to the environmental editor at National Geographic, Dennis Dimick, estimates that 70 to 80 percent of Americans believe GMOs are safe. While this sounds like great news, it is important to note that this...

GMO AgLast December, Hawaii County passed a bill that banned biotech companies from the Big Island and prohibited all new genetically modified crops. The papaya industry was exempted from this bill, which was clearly not based on science, but rather on baseless claims voiced by anti-biotech advocates. W

Now, Hawaiian papayas are back in the news, as they continue to be protected by the government. A judge ruled...

Food&YouA recent graduate of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Sean McBride, has established his own consultancy and blog. Through it, we here at ACSH learned of a potential solution to the nationwide simmering controversy: should food products containing GMO ingredients be labelled as such, by force of law? (Sean s post also alerted us to a column in today s New York Times by Andrew Revkin...

FeedingTheWorld!Over the course of the last two decades, genetically-engineered (biotech, GMO) agricultural products (crops), including foodstuffs and cotton, have slowly but surely increased by any measures: acreage planted and harvested, fraction of our food supplies containing them, etc. (See ACSH s recent publications for relevant details, both scientific and quantitative). Farmers have avidly taken up these technologies, where they are not...

golden riceAn internet survey of 1,000 adults has revealed a perhaps-surprisingly high level of consumer agreement with current FDA policy on GMO-containing foods: there is no substantive, nutritional or health-related difference between GMO and non-GMO food, so no need to label them as such.

The survey was underwritten by IFIC, the International Food Information Council Foundation. Other salient findings included a small increase in the fraction of respondents opposed to the FDA...

2006_Norman_Borlaug_Congressional_Gold_Medal_frontWhile doing his Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning agricultural research to increase crop yields, Dr. Norman Borlaug had no knowledge of the future development of genetic modification. When this groundbreaking technology was developed, he was a full-throttle believer in and endorser of its potential benefits. At a Capitol Hill ceremony last month, lawmakers unveiled a statue of him along with numerous laudatory speeches....

golden riceWhat would a world without GM crops look like? This is a science-fiction piece at the moment, but might come to pass if the fringe anti-biotechnology activists who call themselves environmentalists have their way.

The writer, Roxanne Palmer, posits this futuristic survey as a discussion between a well-respected academic, crop scientist Dr. Wayne Parrott of the University of Georgia (who has advised ACSH on matters of ag-tech in the past...