Genetically Engineered Crops – A “Spectacular Failure”? w/ Dr. E. Ann Clark

On our April 9 episode, Deconstructing Dinner examined the precarious state of the University of Guelph’s organic agriculture program. As was learned, the University had chosen to cut the program along with others displaying low enrollment. The program now sits in limbo. The episode explored the key decision makers at the University in an effort to determine why the lion’s share of research funding at the school is directed towards the genetic engineering of lifeforms and the corporate control of seeds instead of towards organic research. As a coordinator of the organic agriculture major, Dr. E. Ann Clark’s work within the Department of Plant Agriculture has provided her with an ideal vantage point from which to critically analyze the outcomes of the genetic engineering of the food supply also underway at the university.

On May 10, Deconstructing Dinner recorded Ann speak at an event hosted by the Kootenay Local Agricultural Society. Ann’s talk dealt with the topic of genetically engineered food, and she sought to demonstrate the “spectacular failures” of these technologies, which are now pervasive throughout the North American food supply.

Topics Covered on the Show:

  • The May 14, 2009 joint statement from wheat producers supporting commercialization of GM wheat
  • The questionable groups communicating to Canadian wheat farmers
  • The formalization of Dow’s NAFTA challenge against the Canadian Government
  • Challenging the genetically engineered promises of “higher yields”, “reduced biocide use”, “feeding the world”, “saving the soil”, “farmers would make more money”
  • Misleading promises of Bt Corn
  • Seemingly manipulated research findings of consumer preferernces of GM vs. conventional corn
  • The disinformation communicated by Canada’s largest agricultural publication, The Western Producer


Dr. E. Ann Clark, Associate Professor, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph (Guelph, ON) – Ann received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and a Masters of Science in Agronomy both from the University of California at Davis. Ann later went on to earn a Ph.D. in Crop Production and Physiology from Iowa State University. Her specific research interests are in organic and pasture production systems, and in risk assessment in genetically modified crops. She has authored 14 books or book chapters, 25 refereed journal publications, given 51 presentations at conferences and symposia, and 150 extension and technical papers or presentations. She currently teaches or team teaches 7 undergraduate courses, and together with Paul Voroney in Land Resource Science, coordinates the Major in Organic Agriculture at Guelph.

Musical Selection (name/title/album/label)
Theme/Soundclips: – Adham Shaikh, Infusion, Fusion, Sonic Turtle (CDN)