TechReckoning: Flask-Grown Flesh

TechReckoning: Flask-Grown Flesh

Written for The Ecologist - 20/07/2008

If radical vegan Ingrid Newkirk has her way, the nouvelle cuisine on vegetarian menus in five years time may be a big juicy steak.

Newkirk, founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has offered a $1 million prize to whoever can scale-up stem cell techniques that grow edible animal tissue – so called lab-grown meat – for a mass market.

Pat Mooney's Testimony on Biofuels to Canadian Senate

Pat Mooney's Testimony on Biofuels to Canadian Senate

Testimony of Pat Mooney

Executive Director of ETC Group

Before the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources-regarding Bill C-33 (the "Biofuels Bill")

Senate of Canada

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thank you. I will begin by confessing that I am not an expert on biofuels. I feel as though my life has been hijacked by biofuels over the last few months.

Wrong Response to Food Crisis

Wrong Response to Food Crisis

During the United Nations High-Level Conference on World Food Security, Climate Change and Bioenergy, Rome-based U.N. agencies announced yesterday that a new partnership was struck between the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Jolly gene giant-a book review of Claire Hope Cummings' "Uncertain Peril"

Jolly gene giant-a book review of Claire Hope Cummings' "Uncertain Peril"

Review by Hope Shand, research director of ETC Group.
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In October 1996, a spokesman for Monsanto told Farm Journal why his company was buying up seed companies left and right: "What you're seeing is not just a consolidation of seed companies, it's really a consolidation of the entire food chain."

Too small to be beautiful? Organic Pioneer says No to Nano

Too small to be beautiful? Organic Pioneer says No to Nano

Now that you can drive your ‘nano’ car, listening to your ipod ‘nano’ while wearing ‘nano’ sunscreen and ‘nano’ clothing, the UK’s largest organic certifier has just introduced the perfect nano-antidote - a ‘nano-free’ standard for consumer products. The Soil Association – one of the world's pioneers of organic agriculture announced today that it is has banned human-made nanomaterials from the organic cosmetics, foods and textiles that it certifies.

Synthia Gets a Shotgun - Goodbye genetic engineering?

Synthia Gets a Shotgun - Goodbye genetic engineering?

What do ocean-going yachts, space-traveling bacteria and synthetic life have in common? J. Craig Venter, of course. The self-styled genome tycoon has been busy pushing the boundaries on what may appear at first glance to be unrelated enterprises. Nothing could be further from the truth. A suite of recently uncovered patent applications lodged by Venter and his colleagues reveal not only an attempt to grab ownership over much of synthetic biology (see news release) but also a breathtakingly bold business plan for producing millions of new synthetic organisms per day. At the heart of this are plans for a new, automated process enabling rapid assembly of complete synthetic genomes - plans that, if realised, could render current genetic engineering techniques quaint and obsolete. Venter calls it "homologous in vitro recombination" or "combinatorial genomics." ETC suggests it might be properly dubbed "shotgun synthesis" and it has the potential to blast apart current biotech practice.

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