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October 30 Seminar: Dick Flavell

Dick Flavell will present, Genetically Modified Food - A Global Crisis Coming From New Scientific Advances.

By Leah Halvorson

In the early 1980s it became possible to insert genes designed in the laboratory into plants. This innovation gave birth to the dream of many plant breeders who had long craved to continue improvements of crops using novel genes. The first commercial crops were introduced into US agriculture in 1996-7 and they have been extraordinarily successful ever since. In Europe however, movements such as Greenpeace and organic food movements have fought their introduction. In the United Kingdom in particular the press has sensationalized such crops, distorting the scientific information on them and misleading the public. It has created a very difficult situation in Europe with high level political, economic, cultural and ethical ramifications.

Meanwhile, in developing countries where increased food production is desperately needed together with improvements in the nutritional quality of the food, there is much support for any new technology that can create the improvements they seek, but their confidence is continuously challenged by the European stance and the activities of the environmental movements. In this seminar I will endeavor to highlight the main issues behind the current transgenic crop crisis as an example of how technological innovation can lead to global chaos when governments, multinationals, consumers, non-government organizations and the media fail to agree on the technology, the need for it, its ethical basis and who should own it.

Dick Flavell Background Readings

  1. Reading 1
  2. Reading 2
  3. Reading 3
  4. Reading 4
  5. Reading 5
  6. Reading 6
  7. Reading 7
  8. Reading 8
  9. Reading 9
  10. Reading 10
  11. Reading 11
  12. Reading 13
  13. Reading 14

 

 

UCLA International Institute