Only Evidence Matters! Towards a Rational Dialogue on GMOs

Interview with Agnès Ricroch* (PhD, HDR, Adjunct Professor Penn State Univ. USA). Recorded at the 15th Gottfried-von-Haberler Conference 2019 in Vaduz.

 Summary of Agnès Ricroch’s talk at the G. von Haberler Conference:
“Only Evidence Matters! Towards a Rational Dialogue on GMOs”

It is a common yet repentant fact that the general public neither has full access to accurate scientific information, nor does it always have an adequate understanding of farming and its agricultural biotechnologies. This can easily turn into an ethical problem when amplified by the distortion of evidence: the GMO case is a living proof. We will examine only two examples: the fertility of the seed sterility rumor and the patenting and restrictions for breeders and farmers. The numerous unconfirmed reports that are dispersed and inflated through the internet have serious consequences for academic research and the public/private knowledge concerning the risk/benefit evaluations of GMO culture for human or animal consumption. While scientific facts have accumulated for decades on end, the challenge is how to make the general public aware of them. We will present some key points not only to improve the public access to a balanced information but also to pave the way towards a ‘rational dialogue on GMOs’.

Recording of Agnès Ricroch’s talk: 

*Agnès Ricroch is Associate Prof Plant Genetics AgroParisTech Paris PhD HDR. She published four books on GMOs and Plant Biotech. Secretary at Academy of Agriculture. Adjunct Prof Penn State Univ USA. Agnès Ricroch held this talk at the 15th International Gottfried-von-Haberler Conference which took place on May 17, 2019 in Vaduz, at University of Liechtenstein. Conference Topic: “When Naive Presumptions prompt Hasty Judgments: On the Benefits and Problems of Genetic Engineering” (German: “Wenn Vermutungen zum Urteil werden: Die Gentechnologie am Pranger”). The event was organized and hosted by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation.