To GMO or not to GMO?

Caz Forum to feature hottest topic in food and agriculture

Concerns about the impact of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on food and the environment will be in the spotlight at the next Cazenovia Forum, when the guest lecturer will be Sarah Davidson Evanega, a plant scientist and Cornell University professor who is a leading supporter of genetic engineering as a key tool to promote global food security and protect habitats.
Evanega’s presentation, GMOs: Fostering a Climate for Change will take place Friday, June 16, at 7 pm at the Catherine Cummings Theatre on Lincklaen Street in Cazenovia. Admission is free, no reservations are required and audience members are invited to stay for a reception following the program.
As Director for the Cornell Alliance for Science, Evanega oversees a global communications effort that promotes evidence-based decision-making in agriculture.  She is also part of an interdisciplinary team that recently started up an online course on the science and politics of GMOs at Cornell University.

A 2015 Pew Research Center study found that 37 percent of American adults considered genetically modified foods to be unsafe while 88 percent of AAAS scientists had the opposite view.
Evanega points out that as global climate change continues to threaten agricultural systems, particularly in developing countries, crops that are genetically engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions or damage from insects are going to be critical to raising farm productivity and minimizing the negative impacts of agriculture on the environment, as well as addressing global food insecurity as the world’s population continues to expand.
At Cornell, Evanega serves as Senior Associate Director of International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and holds an adjunct appointment in the Section of Plant Breeding & Genetics in the Integrated School of Plant Sciences. She holds a Ph.D. from Cornell and received her B.A. degree from Reed College.  She has also helped launch AWARE (Advancing Women in Agriculture Through Research and Education), which promotes women in agriculture.

2 comments to To GMO or not to GMO?

  • GMOs such as “RoundUp Ready” and Bacillus Thuringiensis (the two major gmos used in seeds today) have done nothing to improve the food system today. RoundUp is now suspected as causing a myriad of health issues (because it is toxic at very low levels) and bt (the later) is no better. For more information about the risks of GMOs, this discussion should address all of the issues raised by the book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public by Steven Druker. Unless and until we can extrapolate all the risks of genetically engineering our food, it is irresponsible to put pollen into the air which contaminates normal healthy foodstuffs. Also, we know for a fact that RoundUp kills the beneficial mycorrhizae in the soil which improves plants ability to withstand drought and sequester carbon, so unless and until we stop using RoundUp, those RoundUp Ready seeds are actually doing the opposite of what you propose new GMO crops will do. Use your heart to heal the planet, not the money that GE promoters are paying you.

  • Matilda Bissaj

    I fully support the deployment of GE technologies ito address king the challenges of current agriculture. Presently army worms are eating up maize grown in Ghana. This challenge had earlier been experienced in eastern and Southern Africa making it a big issue in africa. I find it had to understand why some one will push against a technology that will save farmers extra cost and labour to apply insecticides. I challenge african biotechnologist to comeim out with products that will address local challenge. GM all the way

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