GMOs get Ojai’s first Chautauqua treatment

A Taste of the Ojai Chautauqua - February 1, 2014The Ojai Chautauqua’s first program – on GMOs (genetically modified organisms) drew a packed crowd to the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa’s Hacienda Room yesterday.

On the panel were three experts in their field, representing a full spectrum of views on this hotly debated topic.

• UC Riverside Professor Alan McHughen, a molecular geneticist and author of the award winning Pandora’s Picnic Basket: The Potential and Hazards of Genetically Modified Foods.

• Gregory Jaffe, an international expert on agricultural biotechnology and biosafety at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

• John W. Roulac, the Founder and CEO of Nutiva® the world’s leading brand of organic hemp foods and coconut oil longtime advocate for holistic living. John is a former Ojai resident.

Our own Fred Bysshe, Ventura County Superior Court Judge, moderated the discussion, and Tom Krause opened the program.

For more information, and a wide range of resources about this issue, visit ojaichautauqua.org.

The purpose of the Ojai Chautauqua, as Krause said, “is a gathering of people and ideas about serious issues of common interest.” And while people’s minds may not be changed, they will leave better informed.

The Chautauqua Movement was born in the 1870s on the shores of the beautiful eponymous lake in western New York as a way to illuminate and entertain people. It represents an ideal of purposeful and engaging debate and information. The founders of the Ojai Chautauqua are planning a weekend event to be held at Libbey Bowl in the near future about agriculture and the issues and challenges it presents.

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