GMOs discussed in Nanoose Bay

Controversial topic addressed by Dr. McHughenon on Aug. 7

Few topics are more controversial than the science to be addressed by Dr. Alan McHughen this Friday morning.

“As one of the few academic scientists involved in this field, I felt it was my responsibility to help the non-technically trained public to understand some of the larger societal implications of the technology and its uses,” McHughen is quoted on his alma mater’s website.

The technology in question is genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which McHughen will speak about to the Northwest Bay PROBUS club (retired PROfessional BUSiness people).

Author of the award-winning Pandora’s PicnicBasket; the potential and hazards of genetically modified foods, McHughen is a molecular geneticist with an interest in crop improvement and environmental sustainability, explained PROBUS communications chair Judy Love-Eastham.

“He has a biology degree from Dalhousie University and a PhD from Oxford,” she said. Currently at the University of California, Riverside, he has taught at various universities including Yale, helped develop U.S. and Canadian GMO regulations, served on U.S. National Academy of Sciences panels and was a senior policy analyst at the White House.

In a January, 2013 article in the National Post, McHughen asserted, “GMO technologies have given us many useful products, from human insulin to safer crops grown with fewer pesticides” and pointed to authors of “junk science and its carefully crafted use as a weapon of mass fear.”

The public is invited to St. Mary’s Church, 2600 Powder Point Road, Nanoose Bay 9:15 a.m. Friday, Aug. 7 for a $4 entry. Visit nwbprobus.org for lots of information about PROBUS.