Presenters

Dr. Haroon Akram-Lodhi
Professor and Chair of Department of International Development Studies
Trent University
Bio: Dr. Akram-Lodhi is one of Canada’s leading experts on global food issues and the role that technological innovation can play in helping to improve rural development around the world. His 2013 book Hungry for Change: Farmers, Food Justice and the Agrarian Question offered a comprehensive analysis of the political and economic factors that structure the global food system, and paid special attention to the controversial role GM crops might play in helping to alleviate poverty. He is currently working on another monograph entitled Feast or Famine? Are Small Farmers More Productive in Developing Countries (to be published with Fernwood Press in 2015), which specifically examines whether GM crops can be used to increase productivity in the Global South.

Dr. Peter Andrée
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Institute of Political Economy and Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Carleton University
Bio: Dr. Peter Andrée is one of Canada’s leading scholars in the area of biotechnology regulation and promotion. His monograph Genetically Modified Diplomacy: the global politics of Agricultural Biotechnology and the Environment (2007) offered the first systematic treatment of Canada’s role in the global promotion of GM crops. More recently, his work on GM has dovetailed with his interests in community food security and food sovereignty.

Dr. Stanford Blade
Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences
University of Alberta
Bio: Dr. Stanford Blade has over twenty years experience working as a scientist, policy maker and facilitator of agricultural biotechnology. He is the former CEO of Alberta Innovates, which supports new technologies for the growing bioeconomy, including bio-refinement and the addition of nano-enabled materials. Dr. Blade also has experience in the Canadian public sector (having served for three years as the Executive Director of the Alberta Agricultural Research Institute) and the UN research consortium (having spent two years serving as Deputy Director General (Research) at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture).

Dr. Brian Dowd-Uribe
Assistant Professor, Department of International Studies
University of San Francisco
Bio: Dr. Dowd-Uribe’s Ph.D. dissertation research investigated the introduction of Genetically Modified cotton in Burkina Faso, which is now the largest GM crop introduction in Africa with more than 300 000 smallholder farmers currently cultivating. He has published widely on this important case study, including in top-tiered journals such as Journal of Peasant Studies, Geoforum and Progress in Development Studies.

Dr. Liz Fitting
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Dalhousie University
Bio: Dr. Liz Fitting’s research focuses on the contentious debate over the introduction of Genetically Modified maize in Latin America. Her widely cited book, The Struggle for Maize: Campesinos, Workers and Transgenic Corn in the Mexican Countryside, offers the most comprehensive account of the on-farm implications of GM maize in the nation to which it is native. Her more recent research explores similar issues in Columbia, which is emerging as one of the most important frontiers for the expansion of GM maize in Latin America.

Dr. Rachel Schurman
Professor, Department of Sociology and Institute for Global Studies
University of Minnesota, Sociology
Bio: Dr. Rachel Schurman has spent two decades working as a social scientist examining issues of activism and resistance to industrial agriculture. Her current project entitled “‘Science for the Poor’: Firms, Foundations and the New Green Revolution for Africa” investigates the complex arrangements of business and development interests underpinning the push towards agricultural intensification in Africa. Recently, she has initiated a new research project investigating agricultural policy making towards GMOs in Tanzania.

Ms. Judy Shaw
Consultant
Judy Shaw & Associates
Bio: Judy Shaw has spent her career working for the agri-food industry in the areas of strategy development, sustainability & stewardship, and government, public, and regulatory affairs. Most recently, Ms. Shaw served first as Director of Government and Public Affairs and then Head of Corporate & Government Affairs at Syngenta Canada.

Dr. Grace Skogstad
Professor and Chair of Political Science Department
University of Toronto
Bio: Dr. Grace Skogstad’s interests include agricultural and trade policy, the role of international institutions in regulating food trade disputes, and the impact of economic globalization and political internationalization on the domestic politics and governance of agriculture and food. She has published numerous books and dozen of peer-reviewed papers on these topics. She has also written widely on the politics of agricultural policy-making in Canada, the transnational regulation of GMOs, and the potential role for biotechnology in Canadian foreign policy.

Dr. Melinda Smale
Professor of International Development, Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics
Michigan State University
Bio: Dr. Smale is currently a Professor of International Development at Michigan State University. She has extensive experience working on research and policy exploring the potential for Genetically Modified crops to enhance agricultural production in developing countries. For twenty years she worked as a researcher, based overseas, with the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). As such, her experience straddles both the scholarly and policy worlds: her work on the economics of GM adoption is among the most cited in the literature. Over the course of her career Dr. Smale has managed numerous grants, published 80 peer-reviewed papers and more than one hundred working papers and policy briefs.

Dr. Stuart Smyth
Research Scientist, Department of Bioresources, Policy, Business and Economics, College of Agriculture and Bioresources
University of Saskatchewan
Bio: Dr. Smyth has been studying the regulation and promotion of Genetically Modified crops, both in Canada and abroad, for over ten years. He has co-published a number of important books in this area, including Socio-Economic Considerations in Biotechnology Regulations (2014), Innovation and Liability in Biotechnology (2010) and Governing Risk in the 21st Century: Lessons from the World of Biotechnology (2006). He is also an editor of the Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development (2014), which brings together more than fifty of the world’s foremost experts reflecting on key issues within this realm.

Dr. Glenn Stone
Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies
Washington University
Bio: Dr. Stone is one of the world’s foremost social scientists working on the global debate over GMOs. Trained as an anthropologist, Dr. Stone has published widely on issues of science, technology and agriculture, with a long-term focus on India where he has over thirty years of field experience. Dr. Stone’s 2007 publication “Agricultural Deskilling and the Spread of Genetically Modified Cotton in Warangal in Current Anthropology” revolutionized social scientific evaluations of how poor farmers utilize GM crops by emphasizing the farmer capabilities and skills that can suffer as a result. His more recent work evaluates the commercialization of Golden Rice in India and the Philippines.