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: Tuesday, 8/20/2013 7:32 pm
A: This is a great question, and as an independent scientist that understands and promotes biotech, I know what it is like to be threatened and discredited. Not that it has ever mattered in my field (that’s important later on). When we do science our work is sent out into public forums via journals. The work is always carefully analyzed, criticized, and discussed in the context of our fields. It can get nasty, but usually shapes the discussion forward. But what about “systematic”... Continue Reading
Posted On: Saturday, 8/17/2013 11:11 pm
A: I would not call myself "pro-GMO".  I'm pro-science.  Pro-evidence.  Like all scientists, I draw conclusions from the peer-reviewed literature, an understanding of plant molecular mechanisms, and a knowledge of biology.  At this point that leads me to the conclusion that GM is excellent technology that has strengths and limitations, just like anything else. The information presented here on GMO Answers is evidence-based, coming from well-constructed... Continue Reading
Posted On: Saturday, 8/17/2013 2:47 am
A: First, there are no GMO tomatoes on the market. The famous “Flavr Savr” GM tomato of the 90’s was gone before Y2K. There, question answered! But let’s look at this a little deeper. Why do tomatoes taste, boring? New varieties of tomatoes are developed through traditional breeding. A breeder has to evaluate thousands of lines from a genetic cross to find one winner, so you can imagine the huge expense and resources used. That said, tomatoes in breeding programs are not selected... Continue Reading
Posted On: Friday, 8/16/2013 1:58 pm
A: The topic of "suicide seeds" or "terminator technology" is a deeply engrained in the fabric of the anti-GMO movement.  Such ominous language is the basis of many websites that conjure fear spanning from farmer manipulation to the death of every plant on the planet.  Talk about a frankenfood! However, the reality is not nearly so scary.  In 1998 Delta and Pine Land, one of America's largest cotton seed company, received wide patent protection for a series... Continue Reading
Posted On: Monday, 8/12/2013 10:30 pm
A: Chad, The central goal of this website is to provide evidence-based information.  The scientific consensus is backed by massive literature of hard peer-reviewed literature that is the foundation of these products and the problems they seek to solve.  We need to rely on vetted evidence to base our decisions in science, especially as it pertains to policy.  And a “better perspective” is not so good if it is just opinion.  We need to deal in hypothesis-derived evidence.... Continue Reading


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