On June 4, the CATO Institute hosted a spirited, educational forum discussing the benefits and drawbacks of agricultural biotechnology. The event featured three of the leading experts on the subject: Jon Entine, Founding Director of the Genetic Literacy Project; Dr. Kevin Folta, Interim Chair of the University of Florida’s Horticultural Sciences Department; and Karl Haro von Mogel, the Co-Founder of Biology Fortified, Inc.
For those unfamiliar with the CATO Institute, it’s a public policy research organization (or, think tank) dedicated to independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues. They had originally intended the event to be primarily a debate between Entine, Folta and two of the leading voices of the anti-GMO movement, Jeffrey Smith and Gilles-Eric Seralini. Unfortunately, Smith and Seralini both bailed on the event with two weeks to go, giving questionable excuses.
While it’s unfortunate that some of the head-to-head element was lost because of this, the panelists certainly did not disappoint and their passion for educating the public on the science-based evidence of the safety, science and benefits of biotech crops is readily apparent throughout. The event was also live-streamed and had an active Twitter following, which you can catch up on using the #GMOforum hashtag. We strongly encourage you to watch the full discourse, which is embedded just below (and watch for some discussion of Arctic® apples from 55:38-56:25!):