Paul Vincelli, Plant Pathologist, HWC-2018-06-26
Listen to this episode here.
Hot Water Cornbread took its hosts and readers to new places with this show. Our guest, Dr. Paul Vincelli, is University of Kentucky Extension Professor and Provost's Distinguished Service Professor. As a plant pathologist—a career he entered after dating a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer who was a plant pathologist—Paul's job description includes "Outreach on risks and benefits of genetically engineered crops" as well as "Kentucky Co-Coordinator for the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension (SARE) Program." So genetic engineering in a context of sustainable agriculture? Yes, says Paul.
We hosts were transfixed by Paul's clear, accessible descriptions of what genetic engineering can do for plants, and how genes are physically introduced into new hosts. For example, work is underway to introduce genes from wheat that will help the American chestnut survive the blight that killed billions (literally) of the beautiful, useful trees in the first 40 years of the 20th century.
Paul took "Roundup-ready" crops off the table early on, saying that form of agriculture, while it has utility, is not sustainable. He also underscored the importance of cultural concerns about the vulnerability of heritage crops planted near genetically engineered plants of the same species.
We invite you to listen and learn with us. Enjoy this episode as well as this photo Paul supplied to us, titled, "You ain't nuthin' but a corn dog."