UNH Hosts Screening of Film ‘Food Evolution’ Nov. 16

Panel Discussion with Agriculture Commissioner to Follow

Monday, October 16, 2017
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The University of New Hampshire will host a screening of the film Food Evolution, which explores the debate surrounding plant breeding approaches, including  genetic engineering and related methods.

The screening will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, in the Johnson Theatre of the Paul Creative Arts Center. A panel discussion moderated by Lorraine Merrill, commissioner of the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, will follow. The screening is sponsored by the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, UNH Cooperative Extension, UNH Sustainability Institute, and the Carsey School for Public Policy.

“The film provides a science-based overview of aspects of our food system, including the suite of genetic approaches used to modify plants toward desired traits. Some of these are beset with controversy, and the co-sponsoring UNH partner organizations consider that our public land-grant university is an appropriate venue to initiate presentation and discussion of the topic. I’ve not yet seen the film, but am keenly interested in the issues, am a great fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye and others, and I look forward to a deeper understanding through the showing and panel discussion,” said Jon Wraith, dean of the UNH College Life Sciences and Agriculture, and director of the NH Agricultural Experiment Station. “I have a set of opinions that I’ll bring to the event, and hope to have those challenged, informed and perhaps modified by the time I leave.”

Narrated by esteemed science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson, the film separates the emotion and hype from the science and data of the GMO debate, and brings a fresh perspective to critical issues facing global society today. How do we ensure that our food supply is safe, and that everyone has enough to eat? How do we feed the world while also protecting the planet? Has genetic engineering increased or decreased pesticide use? Are GMO foods bad for your health? And, most importantly, what data, evidence and sources are we using to approach these important questions?

“In a time of ‘alternative facts’ that led The New York Times journalist David Brooks to write, ‘This is no longer a country in which everybody experiences the same reality,’ we feel Food Evolution has something important to add to the conversation. And when journalism and science – the very institutions that are supposed to help us determine fact from fiction and truth from spin – are under existential attack for being ‘fake news,’ we hope Food Evolution might help people to become better informed and prepare themselves to make the best choices they can,” Food Evolution director Scott Hamilton Kennedy said.

Tickets for the screening are free and available on a first come, first served basis. To obtain a ticket, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/unh-hosts-screening-of-film-food-evolution-tickets-38667453394.

Founded in 1887, the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture is UNH’s original research center and an elemental component of New Hampshire's land-grant university heritage and mission. We steward federal and state funding, including support from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to provide unbiased and objective research concerning diverse aspects of sustainable agriculture and foods, aquaculture and aquaponics, forest management, and related wildlife, natural resources and rural community topics. We maintain the Woodman and Kingman agronomy and horticultural research farms, the Macfarlane Research Greenhouses, the Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center, and the Organic Dairy Research Farm. Additional properties also provide forage, forests and woodlands in direct support to research, teaching, and outreach.

 

Lori Wright, NH Agricultural Experiment Station