The Broken Olive Branch

On 18 June, 2012, I spoke to New Hampshire Public Radio about the government-ordered destruction of a 30-year-old publicly-funded research project in Italy involving transgenic olive trees, cherry trees and kiwifruit vines — one of the longest-running trials on genetic modification in Europe – under pressure from an environmental group.

Listen here.

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Italian anti-GM group wins destruction of 30-year-old olive-tree project

News article originally published on Nature News Blog on 12 June, 2012. For complete article visit the Nature website.

The sudden government-ordered destruction of a 30-year-old publicly-funded research project in Italy involving transgenic olive trees, cherry trees and kiwifruit vines — one of the longest-running trials on genetic modification in Europe – began on Tuesday under pressure from an environmental group.

Eddo Rugini, a plant scientist at the University of Tuscia, launched his research in 1982, aiming to find varieties that are resistant to pathogens, mainly fungi and bacteria, so as to reduce pesticide use, as well as producing shorter trees that would ease cultivation in certain Italian landscapes. Continue reading →