Bill Johnson, Ph.D.

Ph.D. Squash Breeder, Seminis/Monsanto Vegetable Seeds, Monsanto Company

I have worked as a squash breeder for Seminis since 2000, which joined Monsanto in 2006. I have enjoyed gardening since he was a small child, and won the First Place award for Best Squash entries in 1981 and 1982 at the Oasis Garden Club annual flower show in Inyokern, California. I am a UC Davis alumnus, and now enjoy deep roots in the Sacramento area. I breed zucchini for farmers in North America, North Africa, and the Middle East regions, and am a frequent traveler to field trials and breeding nurseries across the globe. I am the contact breeder for our successful GMO squash product line in the USA, but the majority of my work (~95%) is focused on breeding non-GMO squash products for global markets.

From this Expert

Posted On: Monday, 4/21/2014 1:04 am
A: Thanks for your misguided question, Edith! I tease you a bit because you include a statement in your question that squash is unsafe to eat, which I simply cannot leave alone or fail to point out. Squash is safe to eat as always, whether GMO or not, assuming that the farmer who grew the squash you eat has not violated any of the guidelines regarding the application of pesticies. The use of the pesticides represents an extremely low risk to health that is far more than outweighed by the health... Continue Reading
Posted On: Friday, 3/28/2014 3:52 pm
A: Thanks for your question, Joanne! I'm a squash breeder who is responsible for developing new hybrids of both GM and non-GM zucchini, and I've had 14 years of experience in observing both, side by side, and in many growing environments. In all those years of observations, I've never found any trait that differentiates the GM and non-GM products. They look and grow exactly the same, except for when it comes to their reaction to infection by viruses. There are many different types of squash... Continue Reading
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