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Kevin Folta

Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida

Expert Bio

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.


Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: Is there even one professional representing GMO.asks who isn't pro-GMO's?

Answered By Kevin Folta - Aug 21, 2013

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 studies with reproducible results. You will find occasional contrasting data and conclusions oc [...]

Health & Safety How GMOs Are Made Modern Agriculture


Q: How does engineering species to die after one generation, forcing farmers to repurchase seeds every year, affect the farming industry as a whole?

Answered By Kevin Folta - Aug 21, 2013

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 of traits, one that was called "technology protection system".  Through a rather clev [...]

Environment How GMOs Are Made Crop protectants


Q: most Tomato's in the US have lost there GMO responsible?

Answered By Kevin Folta - Aug 21, 2013

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 by breeders based on sensory traits like aroma and flavor, at least they haven’t been. Breeders now ha [...]

Environment How GMOs Are Made Modern Agriculture


Q: GMO corn is nutritionally dead compared to organic corn do you still sell them? If you're selling glyphosate filled corn can't you just label them so people know what they're

Answered By Kevin Folta - Aug 29, 2013

A: Thanks Soup! You could not have found a better person to answer your question. I was front-and-center when this news/chart hit the prime time in March of 2012. It was posted on Moms Against Monsanto where they portrayed it as you do—proof that GM corn is nutritionally vacant and full of glyphosate and formaldehyde.I’ll tell you up front that the “moms” site, Howard Vleiger (the guy that produced these data) and many other anti-GMO websites and promoters stand by these data as valid and representative of actual tests. They stand by them to this day. Keep that in mind.I looked at the data and i [...]

Environment Health & Safety How GMOs Are Made