We won!

posted in: Updates | 14

Ladies and gentlemen, plants and animals, I am pleased to announce that Biofortified has been certified as the winner of the Ashoka Changemakers GMO Risk or Rescue? contest!

We have won a $1500 grant which we will use to bring more good stuff to the site, a conversation with Michael Pollan which will be sure to be enlightening for all, and an enhanced social media training session. Specific details of the last two have yet to be worked out, but what was conjecture last week is truly official now!

We will also be featured in a one-page ad in the Stanford Social Innovation Review magazine. Start the presses!

The runners-up were the Non-GMO Project and “The Campaign for Healthier Eating in America.” Although vote totals are not visible on the site, our unofficial count put us at over 800 votes, more than twice the number of votes of each of these two entries. The most-voted Latin American entry, Healthy Kids, Healthy Forests, has also won a round-trip ticket to anywhere in South America.

In what was a phenomenally exciting final few days of the contest, science bloggers and more came out of the woodwork to support us, and we would like to thank each and every one of you again for your help in promoting us and voting for us. A lot of people should deservedly share in this victory.

Not only is it a victory for science communication, but also for dialogue, honesty, and independence. There are a lot of vested interests on both sides of the debate over genetic engineering, and it is heartening to see that an independent group blog such as ours could muster support from the blogosphere and get people talking about the genetics of food like never before. I would like to see this continue, through the posts we will continue to write, more guest commentaries, interviews, videos, and conversations with each other in the new forum. We’ve been getting suggestions for new ideas, and we welcome more.

I would like to commend the Non-GMO Project and in particular their Executive Director Megan Westgate for supporting honest dialogue when things got a little ugly and accusations were flying around. And the Ashoka Changemakers people behind the scenes had to sift through almost two thousand votes to certify the contest – not a small feat so pat them on the back. I would like to thank them for hosting this contest and helping to facilitate more discussion on this important topic.

We’re now Change-Makers, so lets go out there and make some real change in the discussion about changes in the genetics of our plants. I hope you will stick around here awhile longer and help make a few changes yourselves. Let’s make our second year blogging here better than the first!

Follow Karl Haro von Mogel:
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 recently moved back to his home state of California. His favorite produce might just be squash.