CANCELLED! CAMDEN CONFERENCE DISCUSSION SERIES: “What’s the Truth About Genetically Modified Foods?”Join the Conversation!

Belfast Free Library
106 High Street, Belfast, Maine 04815
Camden Conference
Feb 05, 2014
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Courtesy of: Camden Conference


No topic in agriculture is more polarizing or excites emotions like genetically modified (GM) foods. Proponents claim they will be necessary to feed the world. Claimed benefits include increased yields, drought resistance, reduced use of pesticides and lower carbon emissions. Opponents denounce GM foods as a prime example of human overreaching fraught with unknown potential dangers. Is there a sound and safe way out of this dilemma?


What’s the Truth About Genetically Modified Foods? is the final topic to be covered in the Camden Conference Discussion Series. Join the Conversation! Like a book group, the discussions promote thoughtful, engaged dialogue, but with less required preparation. For this topic, two short articles and a brief video can form the basis of your participation, with preparation time estimated at 50 minutes. There are optional additional articles and videos for those who wish to delve deeper into the subject. A facilitator from the local community will be there to keep the discussion on track.


The articles and videos are listed below, or you may click here to download the complete reading list. Alternatively, a reading copy of the essential articles will be available at the library circulation desk.


Essential Articles and Videos


1. The Truth about GMOs. (2013) An article in Boston Review by Pamela Ronald, 10 pages.

Dr. Ronald is a researcher from University of California, Davis, whose work for this presentation was funded by the NSF, NIH, USDA, DOE, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is not funded by Monsanto. Ronald concludes that almost all the food we eat has been genetically altered over time, and scientists agree there is no known harm to humans because of any GMO crop. And, the FDA concludes, there is no known or logical definition of GMO foods, making labeling impossible. It is time, she argues, to change the debate about food production to environmental, economic, and social impacts, which are the three pillars of sustainability.


Note: To print out this article, simply print the page using your computer’s print command.


2. Genetic Engineering in Agriculture. (2012) Article by the Union of Concerned Scientists in their Food and Agriculture section. 4 pages.

The Union of Concerned Scientists offers their point of view on the benefits as well as the health and environmental risks of GM foods.


Note: To print this article, click on the PRINT icon that appears above the title of the article, and then use your computer’s print command to print the article.


Note: This article contains a number of valuable links to additional articles from the Union of Concerned Scientists on related topics.


3. Mark Lynas: From GMO Hater to Supporter. (2013) Brief article in Forbes by Aaron Perlut that includes an 18-minute video interview with Mark Lynas.

The video found in this article is an interview with Mark Lynas, a British environmentalist, who for many years fought the advance of GMOs. Given the rising evidence for positive effects of GMO crops, Lynas now celebrates the advances in crop productivity with GMO seeds.

For assistance or more information about the Camden Conference Discussion Series, please contact the Camden Conference Office by email to, or call 207-236-1034.

The 27th Annual Camden Conference will be held February 21 through 23, 2014. The mission of the Camden Conference is to foster informed discourse on world affairs through year-round community events, public and student engagement, and an annual weekend conference. For more information, visit, email, or call 207-236-1034.