Geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam: The biotech advocate anti-GMO groups ‘love to hate’

| | April 22, 2019
Calves
Graduate student Lindsay Upperman (left), and animal geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam at UC Davis with gene-edited hornless dairy calves. Image: Karin Higgins/UC Davis)
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Facing a tide of anti-GMO activism, [UC Davis animal geneticist Alison] Van Eenennaam has taken it upon herself to advocate for the agritech industry. “If we don’t speak up and we lose access to editing,” she says, “we will have lost access to innovation, and that has these huge environmental consequences that the people who work in agriculture understand. But then the general public never hears from us, and so they get their agricultural information from Dr. Oz.” (To address this problem, she went on The Dr. Oz Show herself.)

As a result of her public face, she’s become a polarizing figure: Pro-biotech groups call her “the science advocate anti-GMO groups love to hate”; anti-GMO groups say her work is “marred by bias and scientific shortcomings.”

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In January of 2019, Van Eenennaam launched a petition with the Cornell Alliance for Science, an agriculture biotech group funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, calling for a “harmonized” approach to gene-editing regulation, meaning that the FDA would not regulate alterations that can be achieved through conventional breeding, such as the hornless calves or all-male cattle.

Read full, original article: AMERICA’S LEADING ANIMAL GENETICIST WANTS TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT GMOS

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