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Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Genetically Modified Organisms: Science vs Capitalism at IFC

Janie Albright Blank - International Friendship Club
February 1, 2014

Join us at the Puerto Vallarta International Friendship Club on February 6, 7:00 pm, where we are honored to host the hot topic discussion of GMOs, presented by Dr. Eric Davies.

The use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) is one of the most hotly debated issues in the United States and many other countries including Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Europe and much of Asia.

Plant biologist and IFC member Eric Davies, Ph.D. comments, "The opponents of GMOs use terms such as "Frankenfoods" to deter people from their use, whereas proponents point out the benefits especially in terms of crop yield and enhancing the world food supply.  However, the potential dangers and benefits of GMOs have been massively overshadowed by the role of agrochemical companies in their relentless pursuit of profit, lack of regard for the environment, damage to the livelihood of farmers and indigenous people, and bribery of politicians and government agencies."

Davies will explain in lay terms the science behind the controversy. "Genetically modified crops are crop plants that have had (usually) a single gene added to their regular complement. This is usually done by mimicking a natural process achieved by a special bacterium which inserts its own genes into those of a plant."

"The science that was done to decipher the mechanism used by the bacterium is fascinating and I happen to know many of the major players," says Davies. "The technology developed to mimic the bacterium is equally fascinating and bypasses the conventional breeding methods which often take 40 generations or more to achieve the same goal."

However, Davies adds, "The tactics being employed by major agrochemical companies and the quest for profit via monopoly and lobbying Congress to pass laws in their favor is rather less than commendable."

As a plant biologist working in the area of molecular biology Eric has used GMOs and generated novel GMOs for scientific purposes and has met and worked with many of the scientists involved. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with constructing GMOs, he argues, the ethical questions are raised by how they are used and who profits from them.

When used properly, Davies says, GMOs can generate plants with resistance to heat, cold, drought, flooding, insects, herbicides, and many other environmental factors and can be done much more effectively than conventional breeding. They can be used to generate biomass (as bio-energy producers), and can absorb valuable ions (gold, silver, platinum) as well as toxic heavy metals from soils or streams.

Davies was born and raised near Liverpool, England and did a BS in horticulture at London University and a PhD in Botany at McGill University in Montreal (Canada). He was a professor at the University of Nebraska and North Carolina State University and has worked in England, Holland, Belgium, France, and Japan. He is currently a partner in a small company that makes a biological, non-toxic product that gets rid of fungal problems on golf greens and other lawns

The lecture will include ample time for questions and answers so audience participation is welcome. The 50 peso donation at the door helps fund IFC charities.Please join us for what should prove to be a very interesting and informative evening!

The International Friendship Club is a registered charitable organization in Mexico listed as Club Internacional de la Amistad de Puerto Vallarta A.C. It is located at the northeast corner of the Rio Cuale Bridge above the HSBC Bank, Colonia El Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, 48300. Phone: (322) 222-5466. Email: ifcvallarta@gmail.com.

  Learn more about International Friendship Club

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