Friday, August 14, 2015

Casualty of GMO Wars

Inside Higher Ed
August 14th, 2015

Kevin Folta likes to think of himself as a kind of referee between anti-genetically-modified-food activists and the food industry, championing science over other interests. And in Folta’s (and many but certainly not all other scientists’) view, the science is clear: that eating genetically modified food is no riskier than eating that which is grown conventionally. Of course, he knows he has a lot of skeptics who think the science is inconclusive, or that there’s a lot that’s not yet know about the health risks of eating these so-called Frankenfoods. Or worse yet, that big agribusiness is hiding risks from consumers.
So Folta, professor and chair of the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida, likes to say in his public talks that he’s not in anyone’s pocket, and that he’s never taken a dime from Big Ag. And that’s true -- mostly. But it’s the “mostly” that’s landed him in the middle of a firestorm over research ethics regarding the multibillion-dollar agricultural industry, the ongoing debate over genetically modified foods, and what some have called the war on science.

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