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Panel to discuss genetically engineered plants

A panel discussion on some of the ethical, theological and scientific issues surrounding the genetic engineering of seeds and plants will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27, at the Bellview Grange, 1050 Tolman Creek Road, in Ashland.

Three panelists, Dr. Rod Birney, Rick North and Jesse Schwartz, will give 15-minute presentations. The moderator will be Ray Seidler and there will be time for questions and answers after the talks.

Birney lives and works on a 22-acre biodynamic farm in Southern Oregon. He is a psychiatrist and interfaith minister.

North is a former project director (2003-2011) of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility's Campaign for Safe Food, which assessed the risks of genetically engineered food.

Schwartz is the president of Living Tree Community Foods in Berkeley, Calif.

Seidler is a former senior scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who wrote the EPA’s Biosafety Plan. During his career, Seidler studied the development of methods to evaluate and predict the survival, multiplication, gene exchange, effects and dispersal of recombinant organisms (GMOs).

For more information, contact Catie Faryl of the Chamber of Commons at 541-535-1854 catiefaryl@hotmail.com.