Manufacturing human organs … with farm animals

Every year, 200 to 250 Canadians die while waiting for an organ transplant

Manufacturing human organs … with farm animalsIn an unprecedented surgery, a 57-year-old American with serious heart disease had a heart transplant with a genetically-modified pig’s heart on Jan. 7. Almost two weeks later, the patient is reportedly still doing well. This surgery was a first, performed by a team from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. It’s among the first…

Plant protein revolution is shaking up agriculture

The global plant protein market could double by 2026, reducing the need for meat

Plant protein revolution is shaking up agricultureWhile there are those who demand greater access to agricultural land for city dwellers, especially since COVID-19 has pushed many to seek space far from major cities, others want to protect our land from real estate speculators. It’s a real point of tension and an important debate. But beyond this, our approach to protecting farmland…

How gene editing helps farmers and consumers

But the way we communicate risks through food labelling needs to change

How gene editing helps farmers and consumersHealth Canada is reportedly likely to treat gene-edited crops differently than genetically-modified crops, or GMOs. That would be the right move. That means the oversight provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency would look very much like what we see for conventionally-bred crops. This issue is obviously far removed from consumers, but it will certainly…

Groundbreaking research could help ranchers optimize free-range grazing

Research identifies genetic traits that could lead to breeding more efficient livestock

Groundbreaking research could help ranchers optimize free-range grazingA new research project could help ranchers customize their cattle to the type of pastures they have, creating economic and environmental benefits along the way. The research, launched this past summer, involves tracking the movements and feeding habits of grazing cattle to identify genetic traits that could lead to breeding more efficient livestock. The project…

Infrastructure funding will drive innovation across the sciences

$27M from Alberta government goes to research in health, energy, environment, agriculture and astrophysics

Infrastructure funding will drive innovation across the sciencesAn investment of $27 million from the Alberta government will significantly boost research capacity and lead to innovations across the sciences at the University of Alberta. The provincial government announced recently that a four-year investment through its Research Capacity Program will be used to upgrade or create new facilities and infrastructure for 11 research projects.…

Food supply chain resilience put to the test by B.C. floods

Supply chains in Western Canada have always been vulnerable and that’s not going to change anytime soon

Food supply chain resilience put to the test by B.C. floodsImages from British Columbia over the past week have been heartbreaking: human casualties, dairy cows barely breathing above water before being pulled to safety, the loss of livestock across the Fraser Valley. Just devastating. And the flow of goods on rail and roads is severely compromised. Many now claim that flash floods and atmospheric rivers…

Canada’s raw-milk ban defies common-sense

The alleged dangers will be news to countless families who have grown up on raw milk

Canada’s raw-milk ban defies common-senseThere’s a legal way to consume raw milk in Canada: buy it in the United States and bring it home. Of the 13 states bordering Canada, 12 have legal raw milk. More than 40 have it legal in some form, yet the U.S. has not had a death from raw milk in more than two…

Milk prices rising: time to reform the Canadian Dairy Commission

The Crown corporation is controlled by three people, all with dairy connections

Milk prices rising: time to reform the Canadian Dairy CommissionThe Canadian Dairy Commission announced recently that farmers will get an unprecedented 8.4 per cent more for their milk and better than 12 per cent more for butter starting in February. For consumers, this certainly isn’t great news. Milk, butter and yogurt prices will likely skyrocket in the new year. It’s the highest increase since…

Climate change creating a new normal for farmers

And consumers are seeing first-hand how climate impacts their pocketbooks

Climate change creating a new normal for farmersCOP26 is just around the corner – the 26th United Nations climate change conference starts in Glasgow on Oct. 31. During the two-week summit, delegates face the colossal task of bridging the gap between the climate commitments made in 2015 with the Paris climate accord and the significant transformations needed to tackle our current climate…

Plant-based milk alternatives meet consumers’ demand for choice

The real threat to cow-based products might be an appetite for choice in a highly regulated market

Plant-based milk alternatives meet consumers’ demand for choiceWith the explosion of plant-based milk alternatives flooding the market, can cow milk co-exist? Canada’s dairy industry will struggle to survive the competition unless it reconnects with its consumers. Until now, milk wars have been international. Canada’s dairy market is highly regulated through its contentious supply management system. Quotas and high tariffs are used to…
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