While genetically engineered foods (genetically modified organisms or “GMOs”) have been safely produced and consumed for more than 20 years, debate and controversy over the technology have persisted.
On this edition of DataDish: Your Trusted Serving of Science, we talk to Mark Lynas, a visiting Fellow at Cornell University’s Office of International Programs at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Mark also works with the Cornell Alliance for Science (which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and is the author of several books focused on climate change, biotechnology and nuclear power.
Some of the highlights include:
- What is a GMO and how does GMO biotechnology contribute to our food system? GMO stands for “genetically modified organism,” but what does this term mean when it comes down to food production? Mark also separates myth from reality about the GMO foods that are available to consumers.
- What is the future of GMO food production and how is the public’s perception of GMOs evolving? Although many scientific studies show that GMOs can positively impact farmer productivity, climate change and pesticide use, Mark explains why many consumers still don’t trust the science that supports GMO safety.
- How is the scientific and safety debate on GMOs changing, and should we be optimistic? While the body of scientific evidence points to the safety of GMOs, cultural and political biases often factor into whether people believe the science. However, there still may be hope for growing trust in the safety and benefits of GMO foods for consumers and farmers around the world.