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Published on Apr 25, 2011
Roger Beachy is the founding president of the non-profit Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Saint Louis, Missouri. Beachy pioneered the development of virus-resistant plants through biotechnology; his early research led to the development of the world's first genetically modified food crop, a virus-resistant tomato. His laboratory conducts basic research on plant biology, and uses recombinant DNA-based technologies to improve crop plants like rice and sweet potato that are grown in developing countries.
Roger's Food for Thought lecture addresses scientific, commercial, and legal issues for genetically engineered crops, with a focus on cassava, which sometimes is called the potato of Africa. He explores the GMO controversy makes it extremely difficult to get even potentially life-saving crop varieties into the field for evaluation, and thus into the hands of poor farmers who stand to benefit from them.
Outreach in Biotechnology's Food for Thought Lecture Series brings together internationally recognized experts to talk about the best (and worst) ways to use biotechnology for food and fuel. For more information, go to http://OregonState.edu/OrB