Panel to Dish on Genetically Modified Foods

Machias, Maine — A free panel discussion about genetically modified foods will be held Wednesday, November 13, 6-7:30 p.m., at Kimball Hall at the University of Maine at Machias.

Genetically modified foods have had genes from other plants or animals inserted into their genetic codes. Alterations done in a laboratory are to improve certain traits, such as increased resistance to pests, herbicides and drought.

Panelists include Jim Gerritsen, an Aroostook County farmer and president of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association; John Jemison, water quality and soil specialist with University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Eric Jones, assistant professor of plant biology at UMM; and Andrei Alyokhin, professor and graduate coordinator with UMaine’s School of Biology and Ecology. Following each panelist’s presentation, audience members will have an opportunity to ask questions. The event, which is open to the public, will be streamed live over the Internet and archived for future viewing at

This is the second panel in the Food and Community Series sponsored by Psychology and Community Studies at UMM, UMaine Extension and the Libra Foundation. The third panel discussion, slated for the night of Dec. 11, will be about the Washington County Food System. For more information, contact Alan Majka at 207.255.3345 or Meghan Duff at 207.255.1227. To request a disability accommodation, call Jo Ellen Scribner at 207.255.1228.

About University of Maine at Machias:  The University of Maine at Machias is New England’s only public environmental liberal arts college, offering an undergraduate education uniquely grounded in the natural, social, cultural and economic environments of coastal Maine. As the smallest member of the University of Maine System, UMM enrolls an average of 1,000 students with a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, and offers degree programs in 12 fields of study.

About University of Maine Cooperative Extension:  As a trusted resource for almost 100 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. UMaine Extension helps support, sustain and grow the food-based economy. It is the only entity in our state that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated. UMaine Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H.

The University of Maine does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, 207.581.1226.