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Ohio’s Largest Food and Farm Conference

Scientist and Biotechnology Expert Doug Gurian-Sherman to Keynote Ohio’s Largest Food and Farm Conference
Respected scientist, author, and expert on sustainable agriculture and genetic engineering (GE), Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman will be the featured keynote speaker at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 36th annual conference,Sustainable Agriculture: Renewing Ohio’s Heart and Soil, on Sunday, February 15 in Granville, Ohio (Licking County).

“Doug is one of the nation’s foremost experts on genetic engineering and its impacts,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “His scientific perspective will help attendees cut through the misinformation, hyperbole, and rumors about GE crops.”

Gurian-Sherman will speak as part of the state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, an event which draws more than 1,200 attendees from across Ohio and the country.

In his Sunday, February 15 keynote address presented by Chipotle Mexican Grill, “Can’t We All Just Get Along? Techno Fixes, Agroecology, and the Future of Agriculture,” Gurian-Sherman will discuss the ways in which farmers that emphasize technological improvements rather than whole systems solutions are approaching farming from fundamentally different perspectives. He’ll explore whether these systems can coexist, what approaches actually work in successful agricultural systems, and the relationship between biotechnology, no-till farming, agroecology, and crop breeding.

Drawing on the example of toxic algae pollution in Lake Erie, Gurian-Sherman writes for Civil Eats, “piecemeal fixes like no-till, though they have some important benefits, will not fix a system that is fundamentally broken. We need systematic change, not band-aids.” In another article, he goes onto say, “by recognizing the opportunities provided by organic farming, we might be able to reverse current misplaced priorities and move toward a resilient, ecologically sound, and highly productive approach to farming.”

On Sunday, February 15 at 9:30 a.m., Gurian-Sherman will also lead a two hour workshop, “Genetically Engineered Crops: What You Need to Know About Health and Contamination Risks.” He will present the facts about public health, contamination, and government regulations surrounding GE food, which he recently discussed during an interview on All Sides with Ann Fisher.

Gurian-Sherman is the Director of Sustainable Agriculture and Senior Scientist at the Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C. He is the founding co-director and former science director for the biotechnology project at the Center for Science and the Public Interest. From 2006 to 2014, he served as senior scientist in the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Previously, Gurian-Sherman worked at the Environmental Protection Agency where he examined the human health impacts and environmental risks of genetically engineered plants. He also worked in the biotechnology group at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and he served on the Food and Drug Administration’s inaugural advisory food biotechnology subcommittee.

He is a respected scientist, widely cited expert on biotechnology and sustainable agriculture, and author of dozens of articles, papers, and reports, including the landmark Union of Concerned Scientists report Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops.

In addition to Gurian-Sherman, this year’s conference will feature syndicated agricultural writer Alan Guebert on Saturday, February 14; nearly 100 educationalworkshops; three in-depth pre-conference workshops on Friday, February 13; atrade show; activities for children and teens; locally-sourced and organic homemade meals, and Saturday evening entertainment.
The OEFFA conference will be held at Granville High School, 248 New Burg St. in Granville. For more information about the conference, or to register, go Past conferences have sold out in advance, so early registration is encouraged to avoid disappointment.

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