Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Belly of the Beast

Or, My Somewhat Snarky, Extremely Long, and Not Entirely Educated Report-back on Roger Beachy’s (Director of the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture) Talk at UC Davis

Disclaimer: this was written with not just a smidgen of bias against Dr. Beachy, for no other reason than that he worked for a Research Center funded primarily by Monsanto for many years. Also, I know what I'm talking about a little, but I am pretty sure he would destroy me in a game of scrabble, not to mention a debate on the state of world agriculture issues, even though I still think I'm right.

Gathering at the Mondavi Center was my first physical and intuitive realization that I am in the heart of Big Ag research. I mean, I know this fact intellectually, but my entire experience at UC Davis to date has been in a tiny little bubble devoted to sustainable ag and food systems work, and this makes it easy to forget the massive rolling fields of GE research.