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BioCassava Plus

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BioCassava Plus (BC Plus) is a project that was chosen in 2004 as one of the Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health projects.[1] The goal is to create a genetically engineered cassava with increased levels of beta-carotene, iron, protein, zinc, and vitamin E, virus resistance, and a long shelflife. The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is working on creating the cassava, and the Nigerian National Root Crops Research Initiative and Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) are partners in Africa.[2] Field trials in Puerto Rico were underway by 2007. In 2009, the first field trials in Nigeria began. The project received a permit to perform confined field trials in Kenya in October 2010.[3]

Funding

According to one press release, the project has received the following grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:[4]

  • 2004: $7.5 million
  • 2008: $4.6 million
  • 2011: $8.3 million

However, according to the Gates Foundation's website, the foundation has funded the following grants related to enriched cassava:

  • July 2005: $4,753,705 to Ohio State University Research Foundation "to develop cassava germplasm enriched with bioavailable nutrients." Term: 5 years.[5]
  • September 2008: $7,405,064 to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center "to develop cassava germplasm enriched with bioavailable nutrients." Term: 3 years and 1 month.[6]
  • November 2010: $8,257,560 to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center "to support the development of high iron, protein, and proVitamin A cassava for Nigeria and Kenya." Term: 4 years.[7]

Using either set of figures, the total amount given to this project is $20.4 million.

Additionally, in April 2011, the Gates Foundation gave $5,548,750 to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center "to support work on Mosaic and Brown Streak resistant cassava, Africa's most devastating cassava diseases." The term of the grant was 5 years and 1 month.[8]

Team

The team consists of:[9]

  • Director: Martin Fregene, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
  • Co-PI: Paul Anderson, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
  • Co-PI: Mark J. Manary, Washington University School of Medicine

Core Team Members:

Additional participants include:

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Aisling Irwin, "'Super cassava' to enter field trials," SciDevNet, February 19, 2009, Accessed March 8, 2011.
  2. Danforth Plant Science Center Collaborative Research Program Receives Major Grant to Fight Malnutrition in Developing World," April 13, 2011.
  3. BioCassava Plus, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  4. BioCassava Plus, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  5. Grant OPP37880 - Ohio State University Research Foundation, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  6. Grant OPP37880_01 Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  7. Grant OPPGD1484 Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  8. Grant OPPGD1485 Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  9. Participants, Accessed March 8, 2012.

External resources

External articles