Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes
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University of Florida horticulture professor Kevin Folta has filed a lawsuit against The New York Times and reporter Eric Lipton alleging the newspaper portrayed him falsely and maliciously in a 2015 profile. Folta argues Lipton manipulated his interview to depict him as a covertly paid operative of Monsanto in order to further the anti-GMO agenda rather than the truth. A New York Times spokesperson says the paper will fight the lawsuit head on.
In an article for research publication The Conversation, University of Florida food economics professor Brandon McFadden criticizes product labeling trends, using the example of “gluten-free” water to portray the lack of meaning in labels. The professor contends such labels exploit the knowledge gap of consumers and companies by preying on fears rather than providing correct, useful information. McFadden worries such labeling causes consumers to pay higher prices for no reason.
Writing for AgDaily, “Farm Babe” Michelle Miller argues the organic industry perpetually lies to consumers by making marketing claims about antibiotics, hormones, GMOs and pesticides. Using antibiotics as an example, Miller explains how the organic industry criminalizes certain ag practices, playing into consumer concerns and tricking them into paying more for food that’s not safer. She urges consumers to educate themselves by talking to farmers rather than corporations.
Ecologist Rebecca Nesbit discusses the future of genetically modified food in an article for Scientific American, noting GM salmon is now available on the Canadian market. She notes disease-resistant pigs also are being perfected, but it’s an uphill battle against regulation before they can reach the market. Nesbit voices hope as genome technology is advancing and changing the regulatory system, which makes it possible for genome-edited foods to come to market more quickly.
I’m Maya Menon with v-Fluence, a global provider of food and ag intelligence.