FFS 009 - Stop Generalising GMOs

Are ‘GMOs’ good or bad? Are they safe to eat? Are they symbolic of what is wrong with our food system?

According to plant geneticist Pamela Ronald, such generalisations make little scientific sense and do nothing to advance discussions on sustainable agriculture.

This week, we talk ‘GMOs’ with Pamela Ronald from the University of California Davis. Pam and her colleagues have received a number of awards for their work on submergence-tolerant rice. She’s also very well known for her pragmatic but unique approach to sustainable agriculture that brings together genetic engineering and organic farming.

We discuss:

  • The issues with defining and discussing GMOs in a generalist sense
  • Some of the criticisms associated with the topic, the misconceptions and misinformation
  • The role genetic engineering may play in helping to forge disease-resistant, climate-change-resilient crops
  • The millions of farmers planting seeds carrying a gene Pam and her collaborators isolated.
  • Sustainable agriculture: combining genetic engineering with organic farming


Matteo De Vos

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