The Debaters Joel Brooks grew up in the Okanagan, and spent his summers working in local tree fruit orchards and packing operations. He’s now the Marketing Communications Specialist at Okanagan Specialty Fruits, a grower-led biotechnology company based in Summerland that has developed the nonbrowning Arctic® apple. Robert Wager has been a member of the Biology Department at Vancouver Island University for the past 18 years and has a BSc. in Microbiology and a Masters in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. An independent scientist, Robert is passionate about providing accurate, fact-based information for the sake of education, rather than compensation. Theirry Vrain: Dr. Thierry Vrain grew up in France and after moving to Canada, graduated from North Carolina State University with a PhD in Plant Pathology. During his 30-year career as a soil biologist and genetic engineer, Dr. Vrain worked for Agriculture Canada where he managed research programs, provided leadership for scientific committees and organizations, evaluated scientific manuscripts, and provided technical expertise to governments and universities in Canada and abroad. Dr. Kent Mullinix is Director- Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security - in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems. Before Kwantlen, Kent held the Endowed Joint Chair in Pomology and was Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Washington State University, as well as Professor and Director of Agriculture Programs at Wenatchee Valley College. Kent is a horticulture research specialist (fruit and nut crops). His scholarly work includes development of ecologically sound, human intensive horticulture food crop production methods, development of bio-regional agri-food systems, and family-based agriculture revitalization as a critical element of sustainable agriculture and community. What are GMOs? GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are the result of a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another species in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic: they are also known as "transgenic organisms." This process may be called either genetic engineering (GE) or genetic modification (GM). Genetic engineering is quite distinct from selective breeding. Whereas selective breeding occurs through mating or cross pollinating two somewhat similar organisms, genetic engineering uses transgenic or recombinant DNA technology to transfer genes across species. The debate about GMO’s has many factors to consider. There are undoubtedly potential benefits and potential risks. Balancing the two is a matter of personal choice, however this is only possible if the public has access to the information they need to make informed decisions. http://www.cowichangreencommunity.org/GMO Q.1. IS IT SAFE? Food Literacy/ Food Democracy / Food Security: Competing philosophies? Science / Liberalism (Cdn/UK) / Social Democracy (EU) / Conservatism IS THERE A MIDDLE GROUND? Q.2 IS IT NECESSARY? ECONOMICS & THE ERADICATION OF WORLD HUNGER Production – vs - Access FOOD GLUTS ARE 2nd ONLY TO MASSIVE CROP FAILURE ON THE ROAD TO FINANCIAL DISASTER Q.3. Is it Sustainable? How does it build SustainAble Communities? LAND FOOD COMMUNITY There should never be a time when someone eats ice cream and someone else starves to death. It can be prevented through sustainable farming practices And in the end… OXFORD UNION DEBATE 14th June 1999 The Motion: “This house would not continue to feed GM material to farm animals” For: Dr. Arpad Pusztai, Biotech Scientist, formerly Rowett Institute John Ingham, Environment Correspondent, Daily Express Norman baker, MP Against: Professor Derek Burke CBE, Former Chair, Advisory Panel Novel Foods & Processes Harry Kershaw, MD AgrEvo UK Ltd. Dr. Sandy Thomas, Director, Nuffield College on Bioethics The motion was won: 478 for – 207 against Nature revealed: Biodiversity in 3D: Greg Asner at TEDGlobal 2013 Technology is absolutely critical to managing our planet, but even more important is the understanding and wisdom to apply it.