Monthly Archives: March 2018

Bayer to sell Nunhems to get Monsanto deal through

Following rumours last month, Bayer has confirmed that it plans to sell of vegetable breeding division Nunhems in order to gain regulatory approval for its ongoing take-over bid for Monsanto.

The announcement comes as Bayer tries to reassure European regulators who have concerns about competition in key areas including seeds, traits and crop protection. Last year Bayer sold €5.9 billion of crop science assets to BASF.

“We have now also committed to divest our entire vegetable seed business. Certain additional business activities of Bayer and Monsanto may also be sold or out-licensed,” Management Board Chairman Werner Baumann said at a Financial News Conference in Leverkusen on 28 February. His comments have been interpreted by some that parts of Monstanto’s De Ruiter and Seminis brands could also be affected, but with Bayer and De Ruiter both being particularly active in tomato breeding, the divestment of Nunhems may satisfy regulators.

Photo Credit: Nunhems

The post Bayer to sell Nunhems to get Monsanto deal through appeared first on Hort News on 5 March 2018.

Purple potatoes reduce colon cancer risk

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University have found that a diet rich in colourful fruits and vegetables, and in particular purple potatoes, may help to prevent or stop colon cancer and bowel diseases, following trials on pigs.

In the study, pigs that were served a high calorie diet supplemented with purple-fleshed potatoes had less colonic mucosal interleukin-6 — IL-6 — compared to a control group. IL-6 is a protein that is important in inflammation, and elevated IL-6 levels are correlated with proteins, such as Ki-67, that are linked to the spread and growth of cancer cells.

“What we are learning is that food is a double-edge sword — it may promote disease, but it may also help prevent chronic diseases, like colon cancer,” said Jairam K.P. Vanamala, associate professor of food sciences at Penn State University. “What we don’t know is, ‘how does this food work on the molecular level?’ This study is a step in that direction.”

While the researchers used purple potatoes in this study, Vanamala said other colourful fruits and vegetables could prompt similar effects. “For example, white potatoes may have helpful compounds, but the purple potatoes have much greater concentrations of these anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant compounds,” he said. “We use the purple potato as a model and hope to investigate how other plants can be used in the future.”

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The post Purple potatoes reduce colon cancer risk appeared first on Hort News on 5 March 2018.

Eating fruit and veg. combats depression

US scientists have said that a diet which emphasises the consumption of vegetables, fruit and whole grains may lead to a reduced risk of depression.

Researchers from Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago found that those who followed the so-called Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet were less likely to develop depression than people who did not. The study evaluated a total of 964 participants with an average age of 81 annually for approximately six-and-a-half years.

Each participant was monitored for symptoms of depression and filled out questionnaires about how often they ate various foods. The researchers examined how closely the participants’ reported diets adhered to different diets such as the DASH diet, a Mediterranean diet and the traditional Western diet, which is high in saturated fats and red meats and low in fruits and vegetables.

“There is evidence linking healthy lifestyle changes to lower rates of depression and this study sought to examine the role that diet plays in preventing depression,” explained study author Dr Laurel Cherian of Rush University Medical Centre. “Future studies are now needed to confirm these results and to determine the best nutritional components of the DASH diet to prevent depression later in life and to best help people keep their brains healthy.”

Photo Credit: Flickr

The post Eating fruit and veg. combats depression appeared first on Hort News on 5 March 2018.

Twin partnerships to address soil health

Soils are fundamental to almost all forms of crop production, so adopting a rotational approach to soil health makes sense. That’s why AHDB has funded a five-year programme of research and knowledge exchange into key aspects of soil health as part of the GREATsoils programme. With the first information gathering reports published, the work is now moving into the next phase – Experiments and on-farm trials designed to answer key questions raised by farmers and growers about how they can practically improve soil health in their own fields. Read more…