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David Sparks Ph.d Are Simplot Spuds Safe
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: October 10, 2014

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Dr. Steve Strauss is a distinguished genetics professor at Oregon State University. Dr. Strauss and his research team are doing gene splicing research to improve traits in eucalyptus trees but genetic splicing brings them to a level of understanding irrespective of the species that he is working on. There is so much fear of genetically modified foods that I brought the topic up to him and asked him if he thought GMO’s were safe. “I actually work in that area extensively, I do outreach and lectures. I know quite a lot about it. It is not just from reading a newspaper article. I follow it closely.Your company up there in Idaho, Simplot plant sciences, they have been working on modifications to potatoes that are really scientifically cool and are going to create some of the first products that consumers are going to say this technology really does have something for me. Potato chips are going to have less acrylamide when they are fried, they will taste better, there will be less use of fungicides because they are going to speed breeding for disease resistance and they are doing it in a way that they are using potato DNA so the people who are freaked out about DNA coming from bacteria despite the safety reviews, there are a lot of people who are uncomfortable with it. Simplot is doing it with potato DNA so they are doing it with a technique that McDonald’s will accept this time. Last time McDonald’s wouldn’t take it because they were afraid of consumer backlash. I am proud of that company in terms of how they are doing it and what they are doing. They’re right there in Idaho, it’s a great topic to cover.

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