education

Greg Ferrara - Communicating Shared Values Across the Food Chain


Communicating Shared Values Across the Food Chain - Greg Ferrara, National Grocers Association, VP of Public Affairs, from the Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholders Summit, Real Farmers Real Food, Celebrating Tradition and Technology, May 2-3, Arlington, VA, USA.

Janie Gabbett - Media Deconstruction On Agriculture Stories


Agriculture’s Voice in Today’s Media - Janie Gabbett, Meatingplace Executive Editor, from the Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholders Summit, Real Farmers Real Food, Celebrating Tradition and Technology, May 2-3, Arlington, VA, USA.

What are the Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability?

Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops

This comprehensive report from the National Academy of Sciences aims to provide an in-depth analysis, a report of its findings, and offer recommendations on the issues and opportunities.

In general, the committee finds that genetic-engineering technology has produced substantial net environmental and economic benefits to U.S. farmers compared with non-GE crops in conventional agriculture. However, the benefits have not been universal; some may decline over time; and the potential benefits and risks associated with the future development of the technology are likely to become more numerous as it is applied to a greater variety of crops. The social effects of agricultural biotechnology have largely been unexplored, in part because of an absence of support for research on them.

From the report (p. 213), there are five key challenges facing genetically engineered crops:

  • The success of genetic-engineering technology in the United States has altered the seed industry by spurring consolidation of firms and integration with the chemical industry.
  • How the intensive use of current and prospective GE organisms will directly affect the natural environment differently from other agricultural production systems is incompletely understood.
  • Progress in developing GE varieties for most “minor” crops (e.g., fruits and vegetables) and for other “public goods” purposes not served well by private markets has been slow.
  • The presence of transgenic material in non-GE products should be addressed.
  • U.S. farmers who grow GE crops may face market restrictions from some countries or retail firms on the importation or sale of the crops or products made from the crops.

Does Media Present Science Fairly?


Science in the media can be very hard to explain. This is especially true when the topic, like genetically modified organisms (GMO), is very technical, not very sexy, or controversial. In the case of GMOs, some media outlets cater to the confusion and aim to be sensational. Unfortunately, this approach distorts the facts and may cause consumers to make inaccurate statements about what they eat, buy, or recommend.

On December 7, 2010, Dr. Pamela Ronald, a distinguished plant scientist at the University of California – Davis, appeared as guest expert on the nationally-syndicated “Dr. Oz Show” to discuss the benefits of GMOs.

Unfortunately, what “played out” was way past disappointing. There was unbelievable bias in how the segment was edited to produce the “final” version that overshadowed the sound scientific facts about GMOs. I found it remarkable that much of what Dr. Ronald presented during the filming of the segment was edited “out” of the final version of the show!

It is important to understand how media uses fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) to derail constructive conversations about complicated subjects. Learn more from Dr. Terry Etherton and his response to the producers of the Dr. Oz Show.

#FoodThanks


With the holiday season coming up, please take some time to thank the many farmers, ranchers, chefs, growers, artisans, bakers, friends and family who help bring/make food as part of the social center piece.

Sometimes the simplest expression of gratitude are the most profound. This Thanksgiving season, we encourage you to use social media to show just how thankful you are for the food we enjoy every day. In doing so, we will also be thanking those many people and industries who bring food to our tables.

Ways to share? Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some starting points.

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