Join geneticist Kevin Folta and GLP editor Cameron English on this episode of Science Facts and Fallacies as they break down these latest news stories:
In the early 1990s, researchers tried to engineer bacteria that could turn plant waste into ethanol, the idea being to ferment useless material into useful chemicals that could be used, say, as biofuels. The anti-GMO movement reacted to this effort with unmitigated horror and for many years after used the GM microbes as an example of technology that “could have literally killed every terrestrial plant on the planet.” While the original research was real, the scandal that followed was entirely fabricated, based on a non-existent study which the author later acknowledged in a public apology.
In retrospect, the situation offers some important lessons about the GMO debate.
- Viewpoint: Heard reports that dozens of environmental chemicals found in pregnant women pose health dangers? It’s junk science, and here’s why
Kevin M. Folta is a professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida. Follow Professor Folta on Twitter @kevinfolta