GMOs on the Table in Woodstock Tomorrow -- with Humor, Recipes, and a Story to Tell

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So I'll confess. I was ready to do a dutiful little post about Modified, the much-awarded documentary about genetically modified foods (GMOs) coming to Woodstock's Town Hall Theater tomorrow. 

Then I read a recent review in Harrowsmith that suddenly got me rethinking my Thursday evening plans. "In the hands of a less creative storyteller," wrote the reviewer, Signe Langford, "this subject matter could be as dry as a saltine. But [film-maker Aube] Giroux peppers the film with clever stop-motion animations; clear, entertaining, and understandable explanations of the science; humour; and delicious recipes à la her award-winning PBS series, Kitchen Vignettes."

Which, by the way, you should check out here.

The film itself is essentially about Giroux's ten-year journey around the globe -- pressed on by her mother -- to look at why GMOs don't require labelling in the US or Canada while they do in 64 other countries. It's a highly personal story. But also a scientific one, and while Giroux takes a clear side, the film is not one-sided. It does raise questions that it argues haven't been answered. "It’s a complete lie that there is a consensus of scientific opinion that GMOs are safe," Jane Goodall says in the film; "there is no such consensus.” And it doesn't pull punches on the contention that, as the Harrowsmith review puts it, "there are folks in the business of keeping consumers in the dark."

The film screening starts at 6:30 and is free. It will be followed by a panel discussion with Vermont Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, former state rep. Teo Zagar, and Cat Buxton, who manages the local "food system" nonprofit, Grow More Waste Less. This is not a dispassionate panel. But it's a knowledgeable one -- Zuckerman and Zagar were legislative leaders behind Vermont's first-in-the-nation GMO-labelling law, which took effect in 2016.


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