GMO crops

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue stressed the importance of agricultural education and the need for more young people to get involved in agriculture policy.

“These young people are the ones I will exhort and implore to communicate and be aggressive advocates for truth,” he said.

FFA member Tess Seibel, from Virginia, agreed with Perdue. She says misconceptions around the food production process is one of the biggest challenges facing farmers today.

An older audience of Indiana Farm Bureau members heard a younger perspective at their annual conference in Indianapolis this past weekend – from the head of millennial engagement at agribusiness giant Monsanto.

Vance Crowe told Hoosier farmers they should rethink how they communicate about the food system.

Crowe is one of many recent hires at Monsanto tasked with changing the public narrative about GMOs, industrial agriculture and other controversial issues.

Indiana’s corn and soybean industries are pushing back against a New York Times investigation that alleges genetically modified crops, or GMOs, haven’t done what they set out to do.

Companies like Monsanto made GMOs a mainstay in agriculture 20 years ago, by altering corn and soybeans to kill pests and withstand chemical use.

Courtesy Purdue University

A major new plant science lab at Purdue University has gotten funding approval from the state.

Researchers at the $6.25 million Controlled Environment Phenotyping Facility will study how to make cash crops grow better in a high-tech setting.

Purdue already has a lab that studies the traits of plants -- from their visible parts down to their DNA.

But that lab is outside, at the school's research field -- which is what will set the new facility apart, according to phenomics director April Agee Carroll.

Why New GMO Labels Might Not Tell The Whole Story

Jul 25, 2016
Joe Hren/Indiana Public Broadcasting

Fabi Calvo pays pretty close attention to what’s in her food. She’s careful when she’s at the grocery store, not just because she’s allergic to milk, but because she cares about what she’s eating in general, something many of us can relate to.

Congress recently approved legislation that requires food labels to list genetically-modified ingredients or GMOs.

You would think it’s as easy as just looking on the packaging to see what’s in the food you’re eating. For example, the number of calories can clearly be seen on a nutrition label.

Purdue University

On the campus of a Research One university, there’s a lot of scientific debate.

But recently, Purdue’s president – who’s not a scientist – took a stand against what he calls one of the most alarming pieces of pseudo-science affecting Americans today – genetically modified food.

On this month’s conversation with Mitch Daniels, we ask why he’s so riled up about it and whether, when the rich head of a company that makes GMOs sits on your Board of Trustees, there’s a conflict of interest that should prevent such statements.

Mike Loizzo / WBAA News

The new head of the Purdue University Extension’s agriculture and natural resources programs says he’ll focus on food security. But that may mean butting heads with activists opposed to genetically-modified crops.

If recent marches against agriculture company Monsanto are any indication, there are plenty of people concerned that too many crops are produced by lab techs first and farmers second.