Global Neighborhood dinner sparks spirited debate

Students, faculty and local farmers discuss seed policy and GMOs.

The Global Neighborhood has hosted its last dinner of the semester. Students, faculty and staff were joined Nov. 3 by the farmers who participated in the Faces of Farming panel: Liz Clore, Brett Evans, Michael McPherson, and Faylene Whitaker. 

Associate Professor Betty Morgan from the Department of Political Science and Policy Studies presented a talk titled “Seeds of an Idea: Public Policy to Preserve and Protect our Food Chain.” 

She began with some historical context about seeds and how Americans traded seeds and established seed banks. In the 20th century, seed production became commercialized and legalized, and since 1980 companies have been allowed to patent seeds. 

A few large corporations now own the rights to the majority of the world’s seeds. Morgan talked about GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and the new laws which make it more difficult to determine whether those ingredients have been used in American food. 

The farmers brought a different perspective to the issue of GMOS. A spirited debate followed. 

The final Global Neighborhood event this semester will be a showing of the film “A Place at the Table,” about hunger in America and potential solutions. The film will be shown Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m.