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: 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
Posted On: Friday, 8/09/2013 10:06 pm
A: Short answer, note that the researchers used "Roundup", not the active ingredient glyphosate. It is sort of like saying water is toxic to cells because bleach is 95% water, and when they were incubated with bleach they died. Roundup is a formulation of glyphosate plus a surfactant, in this case POEA. Surfactants are wetting agents, think of them as detergent-like. They help break surface tension on a plant's foliage so the active ingredients have better penetration. This way farmers can... Continue Reading
Posted On: Sunday, 8/04/2013 2:32 pm
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: So when I think about answering Rachel Parent, who’s the activist child – well, young woman – who’s running the website “Kids Right to Know”… Rachel was very vocal about her interest in labeling and her response to genetic modification of food.... Continue Reading
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