Tuesday, December 3, 2013

QUEST Launches New Science Series with Award-Winning Host Simran Sethi

QUEST : KQED's Pressroom

San Francisco, CA – QUEST Northern California, KQED’s award-winning multimedia science series, investigates genetically engineered crops in a half-hour documentary special, Next Meal: Engineering Foodon Wednesday, May 8, at 7:30pm on KQED 9.Next Meal explores how genetically engineered crops are made, their pros and cons, and what the futureholds for research and regulations such as labeling in the wake of Proposition 37.
Proposition 37 would have required foods containing genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled in California. The measure narrowly lost at the ballot box last November, where it received 49 percent of the vote. But the initiative won in the Bay Area, where genetically engineered food remains a controversial issue, often reaching fever pitch. In this documentary, the KQED science team sought to carefully consider the promise of genetically engineered crops and the concerns surrounding them.
“This was a fascinating and difficult story to work on,” said Next Meal producer Gabriela Quirós. “There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there. For example, many people think that genetically engineered wheat is being grown in the United States, but that’s not the case. No genetically engineered wheat is being grown anywhere in the world. On the other hand, it was surprising to find out that nearly all the soybeans, corn, sugarbeets and cotton grown in the U.S. are engineered.”
The film takes the viewer on a journey to:
  • visit the labs of two Northern California biologists who are engineering crops that could alleviate malnutrition in developing countries and withstand climate change
  • learn the history of the first genetically engineered food to reach the market in 1994: a popular, yet short-lived tomato created in Davis
  • meet a farmer in Los Banos who is reaping economic benefits after switching from conventional to genetically engineered alfalfa
  • talk to a Marin County organic dairyman who has concerns that there may be health and environmental harm associated with genetically engineered crops, and who fears they could contaminate the organic hay he feeds his cows
  • hear from California anti-genetically engineered food activists and from Monsanto’s CEO.
Next Meal will air on PBS stations throughout California starting in May. Currently, stations airing the documentary include:  KOCE (PBS SoCal – Los Angeles and Orange County) Sunday, May 12, at 6:30pm; KVIE2 (Sacramento) Saturday, May 25, at 11:30pm; and KVCR (Los Angeles) Tuesday, May 28, at 10pm.

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