Yesterday’s New York Times carried an excellent article about the fuss in Europe over genetically modified (GM) corn. Europe has managed to stave off the introduction of GM crops but is under huge pressure to accept them from the World Trade Organization and the U.S. The argument: Because GM crops are safe for people and the environment (a scientific issue), trade rules must apply. But, as the article quotes Benedikt Haerlin of Save Our Seeds, “Science is being utterly abused by all sides for nonscientific purposes…It would be helpful if all sides could be frank about their social, political, and economic agendas.” This precise point is the theme of my book Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism (UC Press, 2004), which despite its title is about the politics of food safety and biotechnology. Its conclusion: even if GM foods are safe, they are not necessarily acceptable.
Next public appearance
New Directions in the Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition: A Festschrift in Honor of Per Pinstrup-Andersen. Cornell University, Statler Hotel Amphitheater. The conference begins at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast and ends with a reception the following day with remarks by professor Pinstrup-Andersen at 2:25 p.m. For the schedule and details, click here.
My joint contribution with Malden Nesheim is from 1:40-2:00 p.m. on “the internationalization of the obesity epidemic: the case of sugar-sweetened sodas.”