Botany and Plant Pathology Seminar Series
Speaker: Dr. Alan McHughen - University of California, Riverside
Topic: The role of agricultural biotechnology in a sustainable human future
When: Wednesday, January 09, 2013 at 3:30 pm in WSLR 116
Abstract:

Global food demand is increasing, in spite of waning agricultural production resources. At the same time, the public in increasingly interested in food and agriculture production methods, at least partly to encourage healthy, safe, environmentally sound and sustainable food production systems. While increased public interest and knowledge of agriculture is encouraging, the lay public’s level of knowledge of conventional agricultural systems is disturbingly poor, leading to profound misunderstandings and somewhat romantic beliefs about how food was, is, and should be, produced. Combined with a suspicion of corporate involvement in food production and unrealistic faith in food labels a means of conveying information,  new technologies (including biotechnology)  that might be used to enhance sustainable food production are too often rejected as ‘unnatural’, less safe or otherwise less suitable than conventional or traditional agricultural technologies and practices.  With this background, we’ll explore some of the issues impacting the role of biotechnology in sustainable agriculture and food production.

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