Florida researchers conduct surveys on public acceptance of genetically modified crops

Whether the term is “GMO,” “genetically modified,” “gene editing” or the like, people in the general public distrust any word or phrase associated with the modification of food crops. To determine what the public knows and try to educate them, University of Florida researcher Brandon McFadden and three of his colleagues will use a new Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to conduct focus groups and create educational materials.

McFadden and his team, University of Florida researchers Kevin Folta, Joy Rumble and Katie Stofer, will use the results of focus group surveys to prepare web-based national surveys. The surveys will try to gauge consumer preferences for regulations and consumption of gene-edited crops. Ultimately they will also help the team develop communication strategies and outreach materials. Continue reading

Center for Environmental Farming Systems is seeking a temporary program assistant

This position will support the general Business Office work of the North Carolina Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). This position will be part of the Events Logistics Team and will participate in the logistics of all CEFS events (about 25 small to medium sized events per year and 3-4 being over 500 participants). This position will be part of the Administrative Working Group and will support the CEFS Business Manager in supporting all the business functions of CEFS and the 50+ CEFS employees. This position is critical in keeping all aspects of CEFS running smoothly. Continue reading

Science Writer/Communications Specialist Iowa State

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University seek applications for a science writer who will work closely with researchers to develop communication pieces such as stories, news releases, features, web and social media content, and other written and visual content. This position will focus on meeting both the college’s goals and the center’s goals in communicating scientific progress in agriculture, life sciences, water quality, natural resources and related areas to lay audiences.

The person’s work will help raise the visibility of the college’s and the center’s research programs to general and targeted audiences. It will help explain, illustrate and demonstrate the impact of the college and center’s research portfolio for the state of Iowa and the nation. For details go to: https://www.iastatejobs.com/postings/33428

APHIS Updates Regulated Areas in Miami-Dade County for Giant African Snail (Lissachatina fulica, formally Achatina fulica)

On May 1, 2017, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) removed giant African snail (GAS) regulated area Zone O from the list of quarantined areas in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Subsequently, on December 21, 2017, APHIS also removed areas Zone D, Zone Q, Zone R, and Zone U. APHIS and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) collaborated to develop the protocol for removing areas from quarantine. Under the protocol, FDACS and APHIS use the following criteria to deregulate a quarantined area/zone:

  • Surveillance and treatment efforts for 17 months with no detection of live GAS
  • An additional 19 months of surveillance with no detection of live GAS
  • A minimum of one negative detector dog survey
  • A minimum of one negative night survey, when snails can be more active

Continue reading