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October 25, East Lansing

US (MI): Michigan State University to host public conversation on GMOs

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are among the most talked about food issues — and one of the most confusing. Michigan State University is here to help sort through the information and misinformation about GMOs.

The MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is inviting the public to join Our Table for a free conversation on the science behind GMOs from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, in Room 1200 of the MSU Molecular Plant Sciences Building, 1066 Bogue St., East Lansing, Mich. Tours of a lab in the plant, soil and microbial sciences department will start at 4 p.m.

Our Table is a series of science-based community conversations designed to give consumers the tools they need to make more informed food choices. It is part an initiative led by MSU AgBioResearch, a group of 340 researchers from eight colleges across campus.

The Our Table discussions encourage meaningful dialogue designed to bridge the gap between the public and experts in agriculture and food.

“Our approach to communicating research needs to change – we must take more time to listen,” said Doug Buhler, director of MSU AgBioResearch. “As scientists, we are often uncomfortable in that role and more comfortable sharing our knowledge and informing others. While that’s important, this initiative is focused on listening, because often the most uncomfortable circumstances lead to some of the most important discoveries and breakthroughs.”

Panelists for the GMO conversation are:

  • Alison Bernstein, assistant professor, MSU College of Human Medicine, and founder, Science Moms
  • Jennifer Carter-Johnson, associate professor, MSU College of Law
  • Paul Thompson, MSU W. K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics
  • Felicia Wu, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor, MSU Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, and MSU Department of Food Science

“In this panel, we who have worked with the science of agricultural biotechnology and have also worked in the governmental agencies that regulate GMOs hope to be able to listen well to public concerns, and to describe — in the best way we can — the science behind agricultural biotechnology and how its safety is regulated,” Wu said.

Science communicator Sheril Kirshenbaum hosts the Our Table conversations.

Kirshenbaum and the panelists will sit at a table made from fallen MSU campus trees that was crafted specifically for the Our Table discussions. Artist Nathan Shaver created the table with MSU Shadows, part of the university’s Department of Forestry. The table seats up to eight and features an inlay of the MSU Spartan logo.

Panelists were featured in the spring/summer 2018 issue of MSU AgBioResearch’s Futures magazine, whose theme is “The Science Behind GMOs.”

Online registration is encouraged, but not required. You can register here.

Interested in more information? Contact Communications Manager Alex Tekip or ANR Communications Associate Director Holly Whetstone, or send an email to [email protected]

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