Los Angeles

What’s So Bad About GMOs?

Danilo Ocampo, a genetic engineering campaigner of the environmentalist group Greenpeace, peers in between sacks of US long grain rice that made it to the shelves of a high-end supermarket chain in the Philippines which is allegedly has been confirmed to be contaminated by GMO (Genetically-modified Organism) during a news conference Thursday April 24, 2008 at Manila's Quezon city. In their statement, Greenpeace, which is awaiting results of the tests conducted on government-distributed US rice, is demanding the government to "protect the country's staple food from unsafe and unproven GMO technologies by stringently testing US rice imports and rejecting GMO rice varieties." (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
A Zócalo/UCLA Event
Moderated by Evan Kleiman, Host, KCRW's Good Food
Museum of Contemporary Art
250 S Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Parking is $9 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall garage. Enter from Second St., just west of Grand Ave.

For centuries, farmers and governments have hailed genetic modifications of our food as advances that helped combat drought and disease and improve nutritional value or flavor. But in recent years, as a global movement has challenged the safety for people and for the environment of modifying the DNA of what we eat, some companies have agreed to start labeling such foods, while activists seek to ban the growth or trade of genetically modified crops. How should we weigh the risks of GMOs against other concerns they are meant to address, like preventing famine or adapting crops to changing climates? Given the myriad ways our food has already been modified, is keeping GMOs out of food even possible? UCLA plant molecular biologist and director of The Seed Institute Bob Goldberg, former Los Angeles Times food columnist Russ Parsons, and UCLA Emmett Institute co-director Edward Parson visit Zócalo to examine the way we grow, buy, eat, and think about food.

*Photo by Bullit Marquez/Associated Press.

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