142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Hard to swallow: Genetically-modified crops and corporate agribusiness' takeover of the food system

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 12:30 PM - 12:50 PM

Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP , School of Community Health, Portland State University, Portland, OR
Genetically-modified crops are ubiquitous, and over the past 20 years have been incorporated into most processed food, even though most Americans are not aware that they eat GM crops daily. While promoted as the solution to world hunger, vitamin deficiencies, and crop losses due to droughts secondary to climate change, available crops are almost all designed to resist herbicides (manufactured by the same companies marketing the seeds) or to produce their own pesticide. Such crops carry known and potential environmental and human and animal health risks. Just a few large agribusiness corporations (who also manufacture herbicides and pharmaceuticals) now control much of the world's seed supply. They have achieved this control through a revolving door between the companies and regulatory agencies, public relations and "famine relief" campaigns, and by interfering with and corrupting the scientific and legislative processes. Researchers, public health professionals, and food safety/sovereignty advocates are fighting back through informational campaigns, labeling initiatives, lawsuits, and protests, in the hopes of taking control of the world's food supply away from companies whose primary goal is profit. At the end of this session, participants will have a better understanding of the health, environmental, and human rights issues involved, and be provided with suggestions and resources to learn more and take action.

Learning Areas:

Basic medical science applied in public health
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the nature and global extent of genetically-modified crop production. Identify the major health and environmental risks of the spread of GM crop technology. Describe the tactics used by large agribusiness corporations to expand the use of GM crop technology, while thwarting scientific investigations of its risks and influencing the regulatory process. Discuss how corporate agribusiness has attempted to use famine to exploit starving nations and undermine food sovereignty through GM food aid. Explain measures being undertaken by food safety and human rights advocates, as well as governments, to inform the public and protect the food supply, human health, and the environment.

Keyword(s): Environmental Justice, Food Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I frequently lecture on the topics of GMOs, biopharming, and food safety/food justice, and previously served as the Chief Science Advisor to Oregon PSR's Campaign for Safe Food. I have worked on labeling initiatives, trained advocates, and testified before state legislatures on this topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.