Independent Expert

Kevin Folta

Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida

Kevin Folta is a professor in and chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He got his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998, and he has worked at University of Wisconsin before settling in at University of Florida. Dr. Folta researches the functional genomics of small fruit crops, the plant transformation, the genetic basis of flavors, and studies at photomorphogenesis and flowering. He has also written many publications and edited books, most recently was the 2011 Genetics, Genomics, and Breeding of Berries. Dr. Folta received the NSF CAREER Award, an HHMI Mentoring Award and was recognized as "University of Florida Foundation Research Professor" in 2010.

 

From this Expert

Posted On: Sunday, 3/16/2014 8:32 pm
A: The report you refer to is by Paz-y-Miño et al. (2007), published in the journal Genetics and Molecular Biology, a small Brazilian journal (impact factor 0.73, so not a well-recognized journal). César Paz-y-Miño has an OK publication record and studies a number of regional issues using his expertise. This report assesses "DNA damage" using what's called a "comet assay," an assay in which cells are placed into an agar matrix and subjected to an electric field. DNA is charged, so it moves to the... Continue Reading
Posted On: Saturday, 3/15/2014 5:41 pm
A: First, there is no GM zucchini, but I'll be happy to chase a hypothetical scenario. The fruit is maternal tissue, meaning that every cell comes from the mother plant's tissues. The only "GMO" part would be the embryo and parts of the seed; potentially somewhere between half and all of the embryos would contain a transgene. I hope this helps.
Posted On: Wednesday, 1/08/2014 8:17 pm
A: Both realize the need to produce more food with fewer inputs — to do more with less. We need more food and better-quality food, made with less water, less pesticide, less labor and less fuel, and with sensitivity to the environment. We need to help those in the developing world.  That's the good news. We are all on the same page.  Those against GMOs need to understand the science and how it is being stopped from helping solve the problems we all have identified. Solutions exist, but... Continue Reading
Posted On: Sunday, 10/13/2013 8:50 am
A: Kevin Folta, Interim Chair and Associate Professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department at University of Florida, has created a video response to your question. Please view the video here: . A transcript of the video is included below: Well, thank you for the question. This is a really interesting one to me because I’m really interested crop domestication. How did the wild weeds that were dotted all over the globe turn into elite foods that have tremendous nutritional... Continue Reading
Posted On: Wednesday, 10/02/2013 4:41 pm
A: Herbicide-tolerant crops have encouraged farmers to practice no-till farming. In conventional farming, the fields are plowed ("tilled") to control weeds.  Because of the superior weed control from GM crops, farmers now have to till much less often. This has led to improved soil health and water retention, reduced runoff, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. (National Academy of Sciences, Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States,... Continue Reading

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