Maui News

Scientists to Discuss Safety of GM Foods & Roundup

July 17, 2015, 8:00 AM HST
* Updated July 17, 9:16 AM
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July 22By Maui Now Staff

Seeds of Truth and the Shaka Movement will co-sponsor “Our Right to Health – Environmental & Food Safety,” two free events presenting the implications of genetically engineered foods to our health and the important role they play in increasing Roundup usage.

Guest presenters are Dr. Stephanie Seneff, senior research scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and Dr. Judy Carman, scientist and director of the Institute of Health and Environmental Research in Adelaide, Australia.

On Wednesday, July 22, the discussion will be held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Alexa Higashi Meeting Room in Kahului. On Thursday, July 23, Dr. Seneff and Dr. Carman will hold a roundtable discussion with invited community leaders at the Cameron Center in Wailuku.

Dr. Seneff received a B.S. degree in biophysics in 1968, M.S. and E.E. degrees in electrical engineering in 1980, and a Ph.D in electrical engineering and computer science in 1985—all at MIT.

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For over three decades, her research interests have been at the intersection of biology and computation: developing a computational model for the human auditory system, understanding human language so as to develop algorithms and systems for human computer interactions, as well as applying natural language processing techniques to gene predictions.

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She has published over 170 refereed articles on these subjects, and has been invited to present keynote speeches at several international conferences. She has also supervised numerous master’s and Ph.D. theses at MIT. In 2012, Dr. Seneff was elected Fellow of the International Speech and Communication Association.

Dr.  Carman has a B.S. degree, an honors degree in organic chemistry, a Ph.D. in medicine in the field of nutritional biochemistry and metabolic regulation, and a master of public health specializing in epidemiology and biostatistics.

She has taught chemistry, biochemistry, epidemiology, research methods and statistics in universities.  She has held senior-level population health positions in Australia, serving as the senior epidemiologist investigating outbreaks of disease for her state government. In that role, she conducted a government-funded, multi-state investigation into whether rabbit calicivirus (viral haemorrhagic disease in rabbits) could infect people, after the virus had escaped from quarantine in Australia.

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She also has considerable experience in conducting animal feeding experiments.

Dr. Carman currently serves as a director for the Institute for Health and Environmental Research, a nonprofit organization that has a scientific interest in the safety of genetically modified organisms, particularly those destined for the food supply.

She also serves as a member of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Risk Assessment and Risk Management for Living Modified Organisms, Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Environment Programme.

As part of her efforts in this area, Dr. Carman has written numerous scientific papers and submissions, advised government and non-government organizations and presented to the New Zealand Royal Commission into Genetic Modification in 2001. She is also a founding member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Sustainable Food Trust based in the UK.

She received grant money from the Government of Western Australia to conduct some of the first, long-term, independent animal feeding studies into the safety of GM crops with human health end-points.

To reserve a seat, call Christina Fisher at (844) 611-2944 or send an email.

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