LSC chair and professor Dominique Brossard served as a committee member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s latest study on the impacts of genetically engineered crops. The 20 expert committee investigated the potential economic, agronomic, health, safety, and other impacts of genetically engineered crops and food. The committee’s report, ‘Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects’ was released in mid-May of 2016, and provides an independent, objective examination of a range of issues related to GE crops based on scientific evidence.
The committee members, which also included Biochemistry professor Richard Amasino, made sure to listen to and incorporate a large range of voices and points of view within the report. They examined over 1,000 research and other publications related to the topic; held information-gathering meetings via three in-person meetings and 15 webinars (for a total of 80 presentations); and read more than 700 comments submitted by members of the public.
Brossard points out that the committee took an innovative approach to help increase the openness and transparency of their work, including having a committee website that shared information about the study and the efforts along the way, and making the results easily accessible and widely shared.
The report is available for free download via the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine GE Crops website. According to William Kearney with the Academies’ Office of News & Public Information, the report was the fastest Academies report to reach 10,000 downloads. It has been downloaded more than 16,000 times in 110 countries and covered in more than 200 media outlets to date.
Some of that coverage highlighted Brossards’ contribution, including a MIT Technology Review article and a Washington Post story featuring LSC’s Brossard, among many others.
Brossard and Amasino traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in the congressional and public briefings associated with the release of the report. Brossard is continuing to speak with the media on the report and has talks scheduled into the fall to discuss the results.
For more information or to keep up to date with the discussion, be sure to check out the Twitter conversation at #GECropStudy.