Dow AgroSciences

Rod Herman

Science Advisor, Biotechnology Regulatory Sciences Group, Regulatory Science and Government Affairs Department, Dow AgroSciences

Rod has been a scientist at Dow AgroSciences for 24 years. He currently acts as a Science Advisor for the Biotechnology Regulatory Sciences Group within the Regulatory Science and Government Affairs Department. Rod obtained a M.S. at Rutgers University and has served for more than 16 years in discovery research, including six years prior to joining Dow AgroSciences in 1989. Since 1999, he has been involved in the safety assessment and regulation of GM crops and has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers over his career. In his spare time, he helps his wife with a market vegetable farm and restoration of wildlife habitat on the farm. Rod received the Dow AgroSciences Fellows’ Excellence in Science Award in 2012 in recognition of his outreach regarding the safety assessment of GM crops.

From this Expert

Posted On: Friday, 5/02/2014 11:25 am
A: If you were to look for a common theme among most of the questions and responses on GMO Answers, your question would be it! GMOs have been in our food supply for almost 20 years, and GM ingredients are found in 70 to 80 percent of the foods on your grocery store shelves. If GMOs were not safe, we would have a big problem. Fortunately, science shows us that there is no evidence of harm from GMOs. GM crops are repeatedly and extensively tested for consumer and environmental safety, and... Continue Reading
Posted On: Thursday, 1/02/2014 3:55 pm
A: The most widely used cooking oils for home use are soybean, canola, corn, sunflower, olive, and peanut. Other specialty oils are sold but aren’t widely used (e.g. grapeseed oil). Of the major cooking oils, olive, sunflower, and peanut oil come from crops where no GMO technology is used. In addition, any organic versions of soy or canola oil would not make use of any GM technology. However, through processing, one cannot tell the difference between GM and non-GM soy and canola cooking oils.... Continue Reading
Posted On: Sunday, 8/11/2013 6:41 pm
A: Currently, a voluntary system is available for retailers to designate GM and organic produce. This system is similar to the voluntary kosher label to assist consumers in making religious rather than health-related choices.  Health related labels are mandatory and required by the U.S. FDA.  SKU Produce Look-Ups or PLUs that start with the number 8 designate GM produce, and PLUs that start with the number 9 indicate that the produce is organic. For example, the PLU code for a standard... Continue Reading
Posted On: Friday, 8/09/2013 2:46 am
A: If a researcher could identify a gene that prevents red rot, it would be possible and potentially a better solution than conventional breeding techniques in sugarcane.  At the present time, some of the major companies are in early development on sugarcane for herbicide tolerance and higher yield.  We haven't heard about any disease resistance yet.  For a look at what's in the pipeline, please see the CropLife International website at and search for "pipeline."
Posted On: Wednesday, 7/31/2013 3:13 pm
A: Agriculture is commonly considered to have begun about 10,000 years ago, and crops have been continuously improved ever since. New crop varieties have been developed to improve such properties as nutritional quality, yield and harvestability, as well as to remove mammalian toxins. By identifying favorable traits in individual crop plants or their wild relatives, breeders can cross such individuals with commercial lines to create new, improved lines. Mutations―arising, for example, through... Continue Reading


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