Our Canadian Agriculture Success Story

By Robert Wager, Vancouver Island University I’ve had the great pleasure of being a faculty member of the Biology Department of Vancouver Island University for the past 23 years.  My area of research is agricultural biotechnology with an emphasis on public outreach.  The world has seen a great change in …

Has organ transplant science gone hog wild?

The need for organ transplants is growing at a rate that needs to be urgently addressed In 2016, 18 of every 100,000 Canadians needed an organ transplant. Of these 6,700 individuals, 260 died waiting for transplants, 409 withdrew from the list, 3,135 went into 2017 awaiting a transplant and 2,903 …

Twenty-Five Years of GM Crop Benefits

While it’s the silver anniversary, GM crops have been golden A summary of the economic, environmental and human health benefits 1994 is generally regarded as the first year of genetically modified crop production, the first being the GM Flavr Savr tomato in the USA. The crops that will be planted in …

The Economics of Crop Damage

Losing a harvest can devastate a farm When the thought of crop loss comes to mind, it’s common to think of drought, flooding or hail, as these are certainly devastating. While they certainly are the most common losses for large-scale, bulk commodity production, the same can’t be said for smaller …

GMOs vs Mutagenesis Plant Breeding

Which does the public believe is more natural? Far too often, academics remain secluded within the walls of their ‘ivory towers’, unaware of the interests and concerns of society. An example of this was provided in the fall of 2017, with the release of a survey finding that 58% of …

Food Printing: Is it the Future or a Fad?

Food has historically brought us together, but will 3D food printing cause us to lose those connections? The development of 3D (three-dimensional) printer technology has led to some spectacular things from customized tools to cars. The process of printing layer on top of layers has turned regular 2D paper printers …

Private Sector Funding of University Research Worth $7 Billion a Year

Is this a corruption of academic freedoms or simply how research is done in the 21st century? Many of the things you have done today have been made possible through innovation. Innovations have become crucial to our daily lives and will continue to improve our lives into the future. Innovations …

The Attack of the Killer Non-GMO Verified Tomatoes

I’ve been frustrated by the ‘verification’ labelling of non-GMO foods which fail to have GMO equivalents in the market. This past summer I decided to share these frustrations with the CFIA regarding the labelling of cherry tomatoes. I submitted a complaint to the CFIA about the non-GMO labelling of cherry …

Feeding a Future Population of 9-11 Billion

The immense challenge facing us all While the science of increasing food security continues to make advancements, the politics of technology options for feeding a future population is increasingly hostile. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that yield increases of 2% per year are required to feed a …

Grocery shopping is undergoing a revolution, finally, thank goodness.

I’ve bought clothes online along with furniture, flowers and books. But my favourite so far is groceries. While home delivery has been an option with some grocery chains for a while now, a more recent innovation is the option to shop online. Some stores have made it possible to order …