Learn about GMOs from expert scientists

Amanda Bryant

To inform students on what is in their food, professors in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will host a Q&A session on the benefits and safety of Genetically Modified Organisms.

The event will take place on Monday, Oct. 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Jacobs Science Building. The scientists answering questions will be John Vicini and Jay Petrick.

Paul Vincelli, a professor of  plant pathology at UK,  has organized the event with the hope of allowing the communityto allow campus to have the chance to learn and ask questions about what is involved with genetically modifying food that we consume on a daily basis. 

“A GMO is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal,” according to www.responsibletechnology.org.  

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Vincelli provides leadership for science-based outreach on GMO crops on behalf of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. One of the topics he has explored rather intensely is the technological process of gene slicing. 

“In January 2015, I read some information that raised my concern over its safety, so I arranged for an academic seminar and a public talk by a key scientist voicing the concerns,” he said. “ As a result of that seminar and very heavy reading of scientific papers on the topic, my concerns have been generally allayed. However, as part of my personal and deep exploration into this topic, I wanted to hear Dr. Jay Petrick (one of the two guests) present his scientific data on the subject.” 

The evening will begin with Vincelli introducing the session as well as the guest scientists. The floor will then be passed to moderator, Carl Nathe of UK Public Relations. He will state the ground rules for the session. The guest scientists will then have the opportunity to introduce themselves. 

This process is expected to take about five minutes. Once the formal introductions are finished, the session will begin immediately with a roaming mic on the floor for questions. 

The session is expected to wrap around 8:30 p.m. or until everyone has had the chance to voice their questions for the guests.