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: 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
Posted On: Monday, 7/29/2013 9:57 pm
A: Corn has been grown by humans for approximately 10,000 years, and its genetics have been heavily modified through breeding and mutation to improve its utility as a crop over this very long period. The modern technique of transgenesis has been used to further improve the agronomic characteristics of corn over the last two decades. Transgenesis has become synonymous with the term “genetically modified” (GM) over this time period, but it is really a misnomer. So all corn on the planet... Continue Reading


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