The real impact of genetically modified foods
People are working on removing the ‘dogma’ Mr Wall spoke of.
- 20 Jun 2016
GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS GET CLOSER LOOK
Robert Saik is an agriculture consultant and agrologist now making Know GMO, a documentary about the real impact of genetically modified foods. Friday afternoon, he gave a talk at the Farm Progress Forum at Canada’s Farm Progress Show and spoke with Ashley Robinson
Q: What is your talk at the Farm Progress Forum about?
A: The speech today is really a speech about biotechnology and technology integration on the farm and specifically it’s about GMO. This is a terminology that is misunderstood. People have a lot of conflated notions about GMO and I’m really here to talk to the agricultural crowd about how to have a conversation around genetic engineering. And really to bring to light many of the benefits that exist with genetic engineering. And how it’s a tool box that is going to be essential if we’re going to ensure global food security going forward.
Q: What is Know GMO about?
A: Know GMO is a play on words because it actually sounds for K NOW, and KNOW is do you know GMO, in other words you don’t want it or do you really understand it. And when you talk to people and slow down a little bit and get past the rhetoric on the front end, you realize that a lot of people don’t really know a lot about GMO. So the movie is a global documentary. We’ve got 109 hours of footage already from around the world including North America, Hawaii, we’ve been down to South America, Uganda and Kenya. And it really is designed to showcase the numbers of problems and challenges facing agriculture, and how genetic engineering can help make food security a reality.
Q: How long have you been working on it and what part are you at in the production of it?
A: Well we’ve been working at it since about a year, year and a half now. So filming is done as I mentioned and we’re now to the point now where we’re ready to start doing the editing, the graphics, the music and the animation that has all got to go into making the movie a worldclass documentary. We’re also producing vignettes for Ag in the Classroom. So we’re at that stage and we’re still seeking funding to take the movie across the line.
Q: Why is it important that people know this information?
A: Well what happens is if people have a preconceived notion of what GMO means and they say no, we don’t want it, then that leads to pressure to politicians which leads to bad policy. Bad policy hurts us all. We all want the same thing. We want sustainability in terms of our environment. We want a healthy food, we want a food that’s produced economically. If you start ripping tools such as genetic engineering out of the tool box then farmers can’t do that.