Pro-GMO Side ‘Wins’ in NPR Online Debate

Supporters of genetically modified crops were declared the victors in a National Public Radio program debate held Dec. 3.

 Robb Fraley, executive vice president and chief technology officer with Monsanto and University of California-Davis genomics and biotechnology researcher Alison Van Eenennaam spoke about the benefits of GMOs. They debated on the program, “Intelligence Squared,” against Charles Benbrook, a Washington State University research professor with the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Margaret Mellon, science policy consultant with the Union of Concerned Scientists.The program was streamed online from a New York studio.

At the end, a victor was declared based on the percentage of a studio audience swayed by arguments. Before the debate, 32 percent of the audience agreed GMO crops are necessary and 30 percent opposed them. A vote after the debate revealed 60 percent of the audience favored GMOs and 31 percent opposed them, with 9 percent still undecided.

Listen to a podcast of the debate at http://intelligencesquaredus.org.

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