On today’s episode, Kevin Folta answers some common questions about crop biotechnology from listeners. The term “GMO” appears in the headline of almost every news story about genetic engineering, but is “GMO” the proper scientific name for crops that have been improved with the tools of biotechnology? Additionally, why hasn’t Talking Biotech covered golden rice? These vitamin-fortified rice varieties are excellent examples of how engineered crops can benefit humanity, but Kevin hasn’t discussed them on the podcast. Is he avoiding the topic?
In the second half of the episode, University of Florida grad student Samantha Arroyo, who studies naturally-occurring flavor compounds in plants, joins Kevin to discuss the recent class action lawsuit against beverage maker LaCroix. The lawsuit alleges that the company’s popular sparkling water contains ingredients from insecticides designed to kill cockroaches. Should we be worried, or is this lawsuit just meant to scare consumers and squeeze a big settlement out of a drink company?