Robert Wager M.Sc.

Independent Expert

Robert Wager M.Sc.

Faculty Member, Biology Department, Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo BC Canada

I have been a Faculty member of the Biology Department of Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo BC Canada for 18 years. My training is in Biochemistry and Molecular biology. I am an independent scientist with zero financial connection to the biotechnology industry. I have been involved in GMO research with an emphasis on public education for 13 years. I have given many talks and written many articles for the general public that explain different aspects of GE technology. Most can be read on my website at http://web.viu.ca/wager

From this Expert

Posted on July 21, 2017
Response from Robert Wager M.Sc., Faculty Member, Biology Department, Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo BC Canada • June 8, 2017
The broad scientific definition of a GMO is any organism that has had its genome (DNA) modified. This of course includes virtually all food crops as domestication or breeding is, by its very nature, the modification of the genome of that crop. There are very few foods that have not been genetically modified by humans: wild fish, game, berries and mushrooms.   Some “traditional” forms of breeding cause massive changes to the DNA. Examples include ionizing radiation... Read More
Posted on April 7, 2016
Response from Robert Wager M.Sc., Faculty Member, Biology Department, Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo BC Canada • May 11, 2016
As with this related question, the answer is far more complex than a simple yes or no. Different jurisdictions have different rules and regulations regarding what is a genetically engineered or GE (scientific term for GMO’s). Detectability is often the trigger for GMO status. A further complication has some jurisdictions exempt certain products from local GMO labeling rules.   Different jurisdictions have different rules about what constitutes a GMO product. Europe considers... Read More
Posted on April 7, 2016
Response from Robert Wager M.Sc., Faculty Member, Biology Department, Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo BC Canada • May 19, 2016
Although this seems like a very straight forward question, there are different answers depending on which jurisdiction one ifis talking about and what one’s definition of GMO is. For the purpose of this answer we will define GMO as any organism that has had its DNA altered using genetic engineering (GE).   In the case of ethanol production there are several sources of components that are or have been derived from genetically engineered (scientifically correct term for GM)... Read More
Posted on April 13, 2015
Response from Robert Wager M.Sc., Faculty Member, Biology Department, Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo BC Canada • July 6, 2015
The Internet can be a wonderful source of science information.  Unfortunately, it also contains a great deal of false information on genetically engineered (GE) crops.   Most people are not aware of the extensive pre-market testing that must be done before any GE crop is allowed to be commercialized.  In reality, GE crops are tested 10-50 times the level of non-GE crops.  The testing examines potential hazards and the likelihood of exposure to determine the overall... Read More
Posted on December 5, 2014
Response from Robert Wager M.Sc., Faculty Member, Biology Department, Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo BC Canada • January 30, 2015
When discussing safety of GM crops and derived food it is easier to separate the food safety aspects from the environmental aspects.  This answer will deal with food safety issues.   Every GM crop is extensively tested for food safety considerations before it is allowed to be commercialized.  The testing protocols are based on internationally agreed criteria (OECD, WHO).  A good document that outlines the testing protocols is the Guidance for risk assessment of food and... Read More
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