90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Labeling GMO

California will vote in November on whether to require explicit labeling of genetically modified foods.  We’ll look at what that would mean for the state and the country.

Jim Andrew kneels in a grain hauler full of soybeans on his farm, near Jefferson, Iowa. Soybean growers are hoping the government will approve a new genetically modified soybean they say will produce oil that is lower in saturated fat, allowing people to eat healthier, including fried foods they may have given up as they tried to reduce fat in their diet. (AP)

Jim Andrew kneels in a grain hauler full of soybeans on his farm, near Jefferson, Iowa. Soybean growers are hoping the government will approve a new genetically modified soybean they say will produce oil that is lower in saturated fat, allowing people to eat healthier, including fried foods they may have given up as they tried to reduce fat in their diet. (AP)

For more than a decade, most cereals, snack foods, salad dressings we eat in the USA have contained genetically-engineered ingredients.  Corn or soy beans whose DNA has been tweaked in the lab.  Genetically-modified organisms – GMO.  More are on the way.

Supporters call them safe and necessary.  Opponents call them Frankenfood.  On November 6th, a vote in California will decide if Californians get to know what they’re eating.  It would require labeling of all genetically-engineered material in food.  If it happens there, it may go national.  There’s a fight.

This hour, On Point:  labeling GMO.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Marc Lifsher, reporter at the Los Angeles Times.

Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist with the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, director of the Center for Economics and Management of Agrobiotechnology at the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture.

Kent Bradford, Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center at University of California, Davis.

From Tom’s Reading List

L.A. Times “Agricultural biotechnology companies have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into developing plants that can withstand the effects of a prolonged dry spell. Monsanto Co., based in St. Louis, has received regulatory approval for DroughtGard, a corn variety that contains the first genetically modified trait for drought resistance.”

Huffington Post “More than 40 other nations, including the entire European Union, already require disclosure. ButMonsanto and its allies are dedicated to keeping consumers in the dark and are pouring tens of millions of dollars into a disinformation campaign intended to defeat Prop 37.”

Christian Science Monitor “Another multimillion-dollar fight over a ballot initiative – with big implications for the country – is brewing here in California. The initiative, which is on the ballot this November, has a mouthful of a name: the “California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.””

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 20, 2014
A statue of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on New York City's Roosevelt Island. (Flickr / Alexisrael)

Greatness and the American Presidency. Aaron David Miller says aim for good. Really good.

Oct 20, 2014
In this Oct. 2, 2014 photo, patrons line up for “Nightmare: New York,” a haunted house attraction in New York. (AP)

Afraid of snakes? Heights? Ebola? We’ll unpack the science of fear.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 17, 2014
Jazz violinist Regina Carter. (Courtesy of the Artist)

Regina Carter turns her jazz violin down home with her new album “Southern Comfort.”

 
Oct 17, 2014
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) Ky., center, and Democratic opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, rehearsed with host Bill Goodman before their appearance on "Kentucky Tonight" television broadcast live from KET studios in Lexington, Ky.,Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. (AP)

The CDC in the hot seat on Ebola. Markets reeling. Mid-term fireworks. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment