Bulgarian GMO researcher verbally attacked by activists

Question time following Irish scientist Padraic Flood’s presentation entitled “Why we need GMOs” saw raised voices as he came under sustained verbal attack from members of a Bulgarian anti-GMO organisation.

Flood, a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany, opened his presentation by saying that years ago, he too had been opposed to GMOs, but his scientific education had led him to change his views.

Not only were GMOs not something bad but they could be used for good, including to reduce deforestation, species loss and pollution, Flood said.

“Why don’t we have more GMOs? Regulations, costs, fear and lies,” Flood said, adding that the poor were falling victim to the rich who were blocking GMO use.

“The environment and human health are suffering because lies are being told,” he said.

Flood, who had prefaced his presentation by saying just 20 minutes of his allocated hour to speak, and then would engage in answering questions and in dialogue with the audience, promptly came under prolonged and periodically personally abusive attack from members of the audience who introduced themselves as from the Bulgaria free of GMOs organisation.

Matters periodically became raucous as the anti-GMO group were reluctant to relinquish the microphone for other questioners in the audience.

At the start of his presentation, Flood asked those in the audience to raise their hands if they were opposed to GMOs, telling them he did not think he would persuade them otherwise in just 20 minutes. At the end of his presentation, the applause for him (whether from approval, conviction or courtesy) far outweighed those who did not applaud.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Verbal clashes at pro-GMO presentation at Sofia Science Festival

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