Apple Activists vs Scientists

At the 2013 Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Conference, I had the unique opportunity to meet and interview Neal Carter, President of Okanagan Specialty Fruits, makers of the Arctic® Apple, and also attend a protest of the same apple organized by the Organic Consumers Association. I interviewed Mike Durshmid who was leading the protest, and asked him a number of questions.

Both full interviews will be up and available soon, along with more footage of the protest, but now I have a special treat for you. I pitted the statements of the two conflicting sides against each other in a dramatic fashion, to find out who knew what they were talking about. Frank N. Foode™ joined in to award points and declare a winner.

Watch Apple Activists vs Scientists!

You can also watch it directly on YouTube. If you enjoyed it, please spread this far and wide!

Karl earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison, with a minor in Life Science Communication. His dissertation was on both the genetics of sweet corn and plant genetics outreach. He currently works as a public research geneticist in Madison, WI. His favorite produce might just be squash.

  • http://blog.openhelix.com/ MaryM

    Ah ha ha ha ha ha!

    The kicker at the end was fabulous.

  • Alex T

    The Arctic Apple is a great example. It doesn’t involve Monsanto, it was developed by small growers, it reduces waste so benefits the environment (and growers), it targets a very specific gene, it doesn’t pull from very different species, it doesn’t lead to fever-dreams of super-weeds, and the anti-browning result has a clear benefit to consumers which has nothing to do with eeeeevil pesticides. I can hardly think of a GMO that is more likely to address the concerns of anti-GMO protesters.

    Yet even when they drop all of these talking points, they still seem opposed. Very revealing. Looks like anti-GMO sentiment has little to do with the GMOs themselves, and these protests do a good job of exposing that.

  • http://chriskafer.wordpress.com Chris

    “You’re going way over my head, I’m just an activist” Best.Line.Ever.

  • Pingback: Activist vs. Scientist – Propaganda Style! | SLEUTH 4 HEALTH()

  • http://www.arcticapples.com Joel

    An amazing video – must have watched it at least 5 times already! While Neal isn’t technically a scientist, he is an orchardist and bioresource engineer (with over 30 years experience and 40 countries under his belt), and this video shows the tremendous knowledge gap that exists when it comes to biotech foods.

    Anti-GMO arguments may sound reasonable in a vacuum, but when they’re put up directly against the evidence-based rebuttals…not so much! This is exactly why sites like Biofortified, Academics Review, etc. are so important.

  • cosmicaug

    Are the full length interviews going to be posted here on Biofortified?

    • http://www.arcticapples.com Joel

      I know the full interview with Neal Carter is posted on Biofortified’s Youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMfQrwc4fUg

      I don’t think it’s posted on the BF site itself, though, and I don’t think the full interview with the activist is up anywhere. I would also love to check it out if/when it does get posted!