OSF’s Neal Carter presents TEDx talk

Recently, I was given the fantastic opportunity of delivering a presentation on agricultural biotechnology and its benefits at a TEDx event in Penticton, BC. I firmly believe in the value biotechnology can offer the agriculture industry and the global community, so I was excited to be asked to share these views through an amazing outlet like TEDx.

I am convinced of the benefits biotechnology provides our global population, including saving lives. I have a unique perspective from working around the world as a bioresource engineer for nearly three decades, in addition to my experience as an orchardist and as the founder of Okanagan Specialty Fruits. My presentation covers the history and future of biotech crops, why they’re still controversial and the importance of public education in furthering the discussion.

I encourage you to watch the video below, share it with others, and decide for yourself!

About Neal

You may know Neal as President and Founder of Okanagan Specialty Fruits, but he is also a bioresource engineer with over thirty years of experience working around the world. It was through this firsthand experience that Neal was convinced that biotechnology can help farmers meet ever-expanding global food demand.


  1. Rob Wager

    Excellent talk Neal.  I would just add one thing for the next time.  Caution people (at the end) about their search for information on this subject.  It is far too easy for them to read the pseudo-science while searching for the real science.  perhaps give a few good links to start them out.





    • Joel

      Very true that a lot of the information out there on biotech isn’t credible and is specifically designed to scare people rather than inform them. Some good links we’d recommend for those wanting to learn more include:

      Biofortified – very communication-oriented site which is also quite consumer-friendly – http://www.biofortified.org/

      International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) – much more formal, but provides all the facts, statistics and resources that anyone could ever hope to find on GM/biotech – http://www.isaaa.org/

      International Food Information Council (IFIC) – website designed primarily for education, including a “for consumers” section. Doesn’t exclusively focus on biotech foods, but there are lots of great fact sheets, videos, etc on the subject, particularly here: http://www.foodinsight.org/Resources/Detail.aspx?topic=Food_Biotechnology_Resources

  2. Mary

    Your world-wide experience offers such a nice perspective on this field. I didn’t realize that–I only thought of you and apples!


    I was wondering how the reception was for your material. I know at our local TEDx the attendees couldn’t ask questions. But I was curious about how your neighbors felt. Did you get a sense of that? Did they ask you more detail later? Did anyone run up and stick a label on you? Heh.

    • Joel

      Good questions Mary! I know that a number of people were upset that Neal was going to be speaking about the value of biotechnology and some even complained to the organizers beforehand. That being said, I spoke with Neal the next day and a huge number of attendees approached him immediately after the talk to thank him for providing the side of the argument they hadn’t seen yet, in addition to many who followed up via phone and email for more information. It seems that a lot of the people who were initially skeptical did in fact take the time to research further after the talk, which is percisely the goal!

  3. Michael

    Thank you, Neal, for being a voice of reason and information regarding GMO and biotech.  Too many flat-earth advocates are shouting (nay, screaming) incorrect information, figuring if they say it loud enough and often enough it must be true!

    I am also engaged in the produce industry and was very impressed with the arguments you brought up in your presentation.  Keep up the good work.

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