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Florida Food Crop Industries
and GMO: Talking to a
Concerned Public
Kevin M. Folta
Professor and Chairman
Horticultural Sc...
We have a wonderful situation
Our food supply in the USA has never been
more diverse, safe and plentiful.
Food costs, as a...
What is the problem?
Genetic engineering has been extremely valuable to
farmers, yet there is tremendous public push-back
...
But Florida is not a “Genetic Engineering State”
Relatively small acreage of GE crops
Need for innovative solutions in man...
What Plant Genetic Improvement Is
More varieties
Grow better under
given conditions
Improved yields
Safer products
Improve...
What Plant Genetic Improvement Is
People t hink
Improved yields
How do our industries discuss this issue with
a concerned public
1.Know the fundamentals
2.Memorize a a few core concepts
...
We are warm and competent! Why do we hide?
Why is there even a problem?
Why is there even a problem?
We need to
understand
food, farming
and technology!
We’re actually
farmers, producers
and sci...
F
Relativenumberinpopulation
Nonexperts
Farmers,
scientists,
Etc.
MOST PEOPLE!!!!
FEAR FACTS
Favorable views of genetic en...
YOUR AUDIENCE
NOT
YOUR
AUDIENCE
1. Understand your audience
WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?
The center of the curve is composed of
people that don’t know about food
production, farming, and sc...
What is Natural?
2. Dispel the appeal to nature
Humans have played a
pivotal role in plant and
animal improvement.
Genetic...
What Animal Genetic Improvement Is
What Animal Genetic Improvement Is
Thanks Alison Van Eenennaam for the slide!
Humans have always manipulated crop genetics
All existing crops and animals
have been radically reshaped by
humans, to enhance performance
that has aided the human
con...
3. Identify and Appeal to Shared Values
FACTS DON’T MATTER.
You have to start from SHARED VALUES.
What are some common the...
Shared Values?
FarmersDeveloping World
The NeedyFood Safety
Environment
Consumers
Animal Welfare
4. Personalize your message.
Understand why they feel the way they do.
Tell your story. Start with your concerns.
Talk abo...
5. A Few Central Core Concepts
Humans have always participated in plant and animal genetic
improvement.
Transgenic technol...
How Do We Add a Gene to a Plant?
How Do We Add a Gene to a Plant?
Agrobacterium tumefaciens
GM Crops Available Now
10
potato
apple
What are the Three Main Traits?
Virus Resistance
Insect Resistance
Herbicide Resistance
(how the traits work lecture onlin...
Glyphosate resistant and insect resistant
crops, while helpful to farmers, do not win
the hearts and minds of the general ...
Papaya Ringspot Virus
Good example of RNAi suppression
Golden Rice
X
Farmers
Consumers
Environment
Needy
Opposition to golden rice cost $2 billion to
farmers in developing count...
Cassava
Virus Resistant Cassava (VIRCA)
Biocassava Plus (BC Plus)
250 million depend on cassava
50 million tons lost to vi...
Golden Bananas Beta carotene producing
X
Farmers
Consumers
Environment
Needy
Bacterial Wilt in Bananas
>70% of carbohydrate calories for
some areas
GM trials in Uganda
X
X
Farmers
Consumers
Environme...
Over expression of rice
Xa21 gene
Tripathi et al, 2014
Overexpression of Ferredoxin like protein
Allergy-Free Peanuts
Peanut – RNAi suppression Ara h2
X
Farmers
Consumers
Environment
Needy
GE chickens do not pass on Avian Influenza
Episode 007
X
Farmers
Consumers
Environment
Needy
X
X
X
X Animal welfare
AquaBounty Salmon – attains market weight in less time.
Salmon may be farmed on inland pools, generating high protein food...
Thanks Alison Van Eenennaam for the slide!
Farmers
Consumers
Environment
Needy
X
Low Acrylamide, non Browning Potatoes
X
X
Farmers
Consumers
Environment
Needy
Non Browning Apples
Silencing a gene that leads to discoloration
X
X
Farmers
Consumers
Environment
Needy
Small Business!X
What innovations can help Florida producers?
BS2 Tomato
A pepper gene in tomato eases bacterial wilt.
X
X Farmers
Consumers
Environment
Needy
BS2 Tomato
A pepper gene in tomato eases black spot and wilt.
X
X Farmers
Consumers
Environment
Needy
Stopping Citrus Greening Spinach defensin
NPR1
Lytic peptides
Many show promise
Earliest deregulation is
2019
X
Farmers
Co...
X
X
Farmers
Consumers
Environment
Needy
X
Fungicide-Free Strawberries?
Silva et al., 2015
Communications BarriersCommunications Barriers
Avoid these Mistakes
Avoid “feed the world” rhetoric– Provide specifics.
Always discuss strengths and limitations
Don’t ev...
Grab your e-Real Estate
Talking to public audiences – Get Involved!
1. Obtain a dedicated Gmail account- use your real nam...
Farmers taking action.
Jennie Schmidt
@FarmGirlJen
Brian Scott
www.thefarmerslife.com
@thefarmerslife
Sarah Schultz – Nurs...
#farm365
AMPLIFICATION
Who will talk to the concerned consumer?
Science
Reason
Truth
Facts
Florida Producers Can Benefit from Taking
the Lead in Communicating About New Ag
Innovations
Diverse crops
Diverse populat...
Conclusions:
We live in a time with the best food supply- safe and
abundant.
A few vocal critics are dominating a science-...
I work for you.
kfolta.blogspot.com
@kevinfolta
kfolta@ufl.edu
"There is a path to truth and
sincerity that you must guard...
“Don’t tell me it can’t be done,
tell me what needs to be done
and help me do it.”
Florida Food Crop Industries and GMO:  talking to a concerned public
Florida Food Crop Industries and GMO:  talking to a concerned public
Florida Food Crop Industries and GMO:  talking to a concerned public
Florida Food Crop Industries and GMO:  talking to a concerned public
Florida Food Crop Industries and GMO:  talking to a concerned public
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Florida Food Crop Industries and GMO: talking to a concerned public

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Talk presented for Florida certified crop advisers in 2015.

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Florida Food Crop Industries and GMO: talking to a concerned public

  1. 1. Florida Food Crop Industries and GMO: Talking to a Concerned Public Kevin M. Folta Professor and Chairman Horticultural Sciences Department kfolta.blogspot.com @kevinfolta kevinfolta@gmail.com www.talkingbiotechpodcast.com
  2. 2. We have a wonderful situation Our food supply in the USA has never been more diverse, safe and plentiful. Food costs, as a function of annual income, have never been lower. The fact that 99% of the country does not have to produce food, means there’s plenty of time for other innovations, leisure, etc.
  3. 3. What is the problem? Genetic engineering has been extremely valuable to farmers, yet there is tremendous public push-back Amplification of known limitations Leads to high regulatory time and costs Slows deployment of potentially useful solutions The most credible voices have not participated in the discussion. The companies were not helpful.
  4. 4. But Florida is not a “Genetic Engineering State” Relatively small acreage of GE crops Need for innovative solutions in many specialty crops Many opportunities in animals Fragile environment Solutions needed fast, now and future
  5. 5. What Plant Genetic Improvement Is More varieties Grow better under given conditions Improved yields Safer products Improved nutrtion
  6. 6. What Plant Genetic Improvement Is People t hink Improved yields
  7. 7. How do our industries discuss this issue with a concerned public 1.Know the fundamentals 2.Memorize a a few core concepts 3.Understand your audience 4.Dispel the appeal to nature 5.Establish your shared values 6.Personalize your message, engage with honesty, transparency, and establish trust. 7.Emphasize missed opportunities Last- Your eReal Estate- Go Get It.
  8. 8. We are warm and competent! Why do we hide?
  9. 9. Why is there even a problem?
  10. 10. Why is there even a problem? We need to understand food, farming and technology! We’re actually farmers, producers and scientists, but we’re too busy. How can we help you? We’re sorta farmers, producers and scientists.
  11. 11. F Relativenumberinpopulation Nonexperts Farmers, scientists, Etc. MOST PEOPLE!!!! FEAR FACTS Favorable views of genetic engineering
  12. 12. YOUR AUDIENCE NOT YOUR AUDIENCE 1. Understand your audience
  13. 13. WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE? The center of the curve is composed of people that don’t know about food production, farming, and science. They are concerned about food. Share your story with them.
  14. 14. What is Natural? 2. Dispel the appeal to nature Humans have played a pivotal role in plant and animal improvement. Genetics Management Nutrition, etc.
  15. 15. What Animal Genetic Improvement Is
  16. 16. What Animal Genetic Improvement Is Thanks Alison Van Eenennaam for the slide!
  17. 17. Humans have always manipulated crop genetics
  18. 18. All existing crops and animals have been radically reshaped by humans, to enhance performance that has aided the human condition.
  19. 19. 3. Identify and Appeal to Shared Values FACTS DON’T MATTER. You have to start from SHARED VALUES. What are some common themes shared by those that embrace the technology and those that deplore it ? The human brain responds to stories. Tell yours. Q: What are your values around food and food production?
  20. 20. Shared Values? FarmersDeveloping World The NeedyFood Safety Environment Consumers Animal Welfare
  21. 21. 4. Personalize your message. Understand why they feel the way they do. Tell your story. Start with your concerns. Talk about points that everyone can agree upon Refer to your family, your personal goals. Be transparent. Establish trust.
  22. 22. 5. A Few Central Core Concepts Humans have always participated in plant and animal genetic improvement. Transgenic technology (familiar “GMO”) is a precise extension of conventional plant breeding. “The techniques used pose no more risk (actually less risk) than conventional breeding.” (NAS, AAAS, AMA, EFSA many others) In 18 years of use in plants, there has not been one case of illness or death related to these products. No approved animals. In the USA there are several traits used in only 10 (- +) commercial crops
  23. 23. How Do We Add a Gene to a Plant?
  24. 24. How Do We Add a Gene to a Plant? Agrobacterium tumefaciens
  25. 25. GM Crops Available Now 10 potato apple
  26. 26. What are the Three Main Traits? Virus Resistance Insect Resistance Herbicide Resistance (how the traits work lecture online – (google “ UF biotechnology literacy day”)
  27. 27. Glyphosate resistant and insect resistant crops, while helpful to farmers, do not win the hearts and minds of the general public Stress how we have solutions in-hand that cannot be deployed 6. Win interest with innovations and non “Big Ag” solutions
  28. 28. Papaya Ringspot Virus Good example of RNAi suppression
  29. 29. Golden Rice X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy Opposition to golden rice cost $2 billion to farmers in developing countries and 1.4 million human years – Wesseler et al., 2014
  30. 30. Cassava Virus Resistant Cassava (VIRCA) Biocassava Plus (BC Plus) 250 million depend on cassava 50 million tons lost to virus. X X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy
  31. 31. Golden Bananas Beta carotene producing X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy
  32. 32. Bacterial Wilt in Bananas >70% of carbohydrate calories for some areas GM trials in Uganda X X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy X
  33. 33. Over expression of rice Xa21 gene Tripathi et al, 2014
  34. 34. Overexpression of Ferredoxin like protein
  35. 35. Allergy-Free Peanuts Peanut – RNAi suppression Ara h2 X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy
  36. 36. GE chickens do not pass on Avian Influenza Episode 007 X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy X X X X Animal welfare
  37. 37. AquaBounty Salmon – attains market weight in less time. Salmon may be farmed on inland pools, generating high protein food on fewer inputs. Episode 008 X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy X X X X Wild populations
  38. 38. Thanks Alison Van Eenennaam for the slide! Farmers Consumers Environment Needy X
  39. 39. Low Acrylamide, non Browning Potatoes X X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy
  40. 40. Non Browning Apples Silencing a gene that leads to discoloration X X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy Small Business!X
  41. 41. What innovations can help Florida producers?
  42. 42. BS2 Tomato A pepper gene in tomato eases bacterial wilt. X X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy
  43. 43. BS2 Tomato A pepper gene in tomato eases black spot and wilt. X X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy
  44. 44. Stopping Citrus Greening Spinach defensin NPR1 Lytic peptides Many show promise Earliest deregulation is 2019 X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy X X
  45. 45. X X Farmers Consumers Environment Needy X Fungicide-Free Strawberries? Silva et al., 2015
  46. 46. Communications BarriersCommunications Barriers
  47. 47. Avoid these Mistakes Avoid “feed the world” rhetoric– Provide specifics. Always discuss strengths and limitations Don’t ever claim it is a single solution– it is not. Embrace integration around other production methods.
  48. 48. Grab your e-Real Estate Talking to public audiences – Get Involved! 1. Obtain a dedicated Gmail account- use your real name. 2. Sign up for facebook, twitter, instagram, pintrest, etc. 3. Get a blog space on blogspot.com or wordpress. 4.Answer questions in comments sections of news articles. I’m glad to help you set up your accounts and get connected
  49. 49. Farmers taking action. Jennie Schmidt @FarmGirlJen Brian Scott www.thefarmerslife.com @thefarmerslife Sarah Schultz – Nurse Loves Farmer @NurseLovesFarmr Amanda @farmdaughterusa
  50. 50. #farm365 AMPLIFICATION
  51. 51. Who will talk to the concerned consumer? Science Reason Truth Facts
  52. 52. Florida Producers Can Benefit from Taking the Lead in Communicating About New Ag Innovations Diverse crops Diverse populations Sensitivity to environment Industry leadership
  53. 53. Conclusions: We live in a time with the best food supply- safe and abundant. A few vocal critics are dominating a science-limited public conversation. Scientist engagement questionable. There are many good opportunities for crop and animal improvement that can benefit the farmer, the environment, the consumer and the needy. Future solutions may be extremely valuable to the Florida producer Find your electronic real estate and start using it.
  54. 54. I work for you. kfolta.blogspot.com @kevinfolta kfolta@ufl.edu "There is a path to truth and sincerity that you must guard and defend“ -- Teruyuki Okazaki “It is our mission to stand up for the truth that science gives us.” Dr. Jack Payne Follow FOIA developments using #Science14 www.talkingbiotechpodcast.com iTunes, Stitcher, Player FM Sponsors: Research: USDA Outreach: www.talkingbiotech.com Today’s talk – FFVA, department
  55. 55. “Don’t tell me it can’t be done, tell me what needs to be done and help me do it.”

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