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Food and genetics: Inside the controversy


Jeffrey Smith, leading non-GMO consumer advocate, will kick off Union’s 2011 Environmental Science, Policy and Engineering Winter Seminar Series Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Nott Memorial with a talk titled, “The Dirty Secrets Behind the Genetically Modified Foods You’re Eating.”

All four speakers in this year’s series will address the theme, “Inside the Controversy on Genetically Modified Food.”

Smith’s talk will focus on “fired and gagged scientists, rigged research, corrupted regulators and harmful foods, and how to protect yourself and take action.

“You’ve probably heard the spin on GMOs (genetically modified organisms), about being a safe FDA-approved technology that will increase yields, reduce Ag chemicals and feed the world. Don’t believe it,” Smith says.

According to Smith, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine cites so many disorders in animal studies associated with GMOs, “they urge all physicians to prescribe non-GMO diets to everyone.”

Smith’s book, “Seeds of Deception,” is one of the top-selling books on GMOs. His more recent “Genetic Roulette” documents 65 health risks of the genetically modified foods we eat every day. He has spoken in 32 countries. Through his Institute for Responsible Technology, Smith is pioneering a campaign to create a tipping point of consumer rejection – to force GMOs out of the market.

The speaker series continues with the following:

Wednesday, Feb. 2: “Global Rifts over Biotechnology: Science, Politics and Political Science” with Ronald Herring of Cornell University

Wednesday, Feb. 16: “Genetically Engineered Plants and Animals: Answers to Questions They Don’t Want Asked (Science, Regulation, Environmental and Human Health Impacts)” with Michael Hansen of Consumer Union

Tuesday, Feb. 22: “Environmental Considerations in the Use of Transgenic Crops” with Dr. Janice Thies (Cornell University)

All talks are at 7 p.m. in the Nott Memorial. They are free and open to the public.