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Afternoon at the movies

Over 120 people attended the screening of “Food Evolution” followed by a Q&A session with GM experts and the film director.

On Friday 22nd September we screened the US documentary Food Evolution in the auditorium of The Roslin Institute. Professor Bruce Whitelaw, the Institute's Deputy Director for Partnerships, welcomed attendees to this public event and Stan Phillips, Counsellor for Agricultural Affairs at the US Department of Agriculture, gave a brief introduction to the film.

Food Evolution, by Academy Award-nominated director Scott Hamilton Kennedy, explores the controversy surrounding GMOs and food. Travelling from Hawaiian papaya groves, to banana farms in Uganda to the cornfields of Iowa, the film covers both the emotions and the science driving discussions around GMOs.

After the screening the audience were invited to ask questions to GM experts Professor Whitelaw and Professor John Hickey. To our guests surprise, we also video-called the film director in Los Angeles.

We welcomed over 120 people from local schools, research organisations, the food manufacturing sector as well as from the Scottish Government. They posed a large number of interesting questions regarding the safety and regulation of GMOs, as well as the future directions of research. As the photo shows, most of them were not averse to the use of genetic technologies in agriculture and would eat genetically modified foods. Discussions continued over afternoon tea and attendees had a chance to play with our interactive exhibit: the genetic toolbox.

Related links

  • Film website:
  • Egg-free surrogate chickens produced in bid to save rare breeds – news story
  • Oyster farming to benefit from new genetic screening tool – news story
  • Gene-edited pigs show signs of resistance to major viral disease – news story
  • Roslin Research Division: Genetics & Genomics
  • Institute Strategic Programmes:
    • Genetic improvement of farmed animals
    • Genetic basis of host resistance
  • The Roslin Institute public events
Audience's reply to "who would eat GM food?"
Audience's reply to "who would eat GM food?"
The audience watching the Food Evolution film
The audience posing questions to our experts
The question and answers session held with the director of the film via Skype
The reception after the film