Food Evolution: film screening and Q&A session

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Last 20th of September, the Centre participated on the premier screening of the documentary Food Evolution in Canberra, which explores the strongly polarised debate on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture.

The film, narrated by esteemed science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson, travels from Hawaiian papaya groves, to banana farms in Uganda, to the cornfields in the USA, showing the emotions and scientific evidence driving one of the most heated arguments of our time.

Q&A discussion during the screening of Food Evolution in Canberra

More than 300 people attended the free event at ANU. In a provocative exercise to ask the public if the movie had the effect to change their mind on this issue, at the start and the end of the film, audience members were asked to hold a red, yellow or green card to show if they supported or not the use of GMOs in agriculture.

After the screening, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of scientists, communicators and agricultural organisations, including the film director, Scott Hamilton, who joined the panel via Skype. The discussion was be moderated by ABC journalist Adrienne Francis.

Watch the discussion here

The Q&A panellists included Dr Elizabeth Finkel (Editor-in- Chief of Cosmos Magazine) Professor Robert Furbank (Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis, ANU), Professor Andrew Campbell (Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, ACIAR), Tony Mahar (Chief Executive of the National Farmer Association).


Audience members at the ANU screening expressing their views on GMOs


The event was organised by GMOonly and sponsored by the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia, The Crawford Fund, the Australian Society of Plant Scientists, CSIRO, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis, The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the ANU Film Group, Cariboo Design, the Rural Press Club and the National Farmers Federation.




Read this article by Colin Bettles in Farm online What was the last time you changed your mind on GMOs?

Read this article by Elizabeth Fitzgerald on Cosmos magazine