What exactly are genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? Why were they developed? How are GMOs being used? And why are so many people concerned about them?
These questions are on the minds of many Oregonians as we prepare to vote on Ballot Measure 92 in November. Measure 92 would mandate the labeling of certain foodstuffs that were produced with or contain genetically modified organisms. The measure is sponsored by Oregon GMO Right to Know.
Warner Pacific College and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon’s Interfaith Food and Farms Partnership are bringing together scientists, teachers, and faith leaders at a free public forum to consider these questions and contemplate how our faith traditions can inform our thinking about the positive uses and risks of GMOs.
This public forum will include a brief presentation explaining what GMOs are and how they are used, followed by a Q&A time with the panelists.
What: GMOs: Theological and Ethical Perspectives Forum
When: Wednesday, October 15, starting at 6:30 pm
Who: This forum is free and open to the public.
Where: Warner Pacific College’s Schlatter Chapel located at 2219 SE 68th Ave., Portland
Panelists: The panel includes scientists, teachers, and faith leaders
- Dr. David Ervin, Professor Emeritus of Economics and Environmental Management and Senior Fellow, Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University
- Ivan Maluski, Director of Friends of Family Farmers
- Rabbi Debra Kolodny of P’nai Or of Portland
- Dr. David Terrell, Professor of Physical Science at Warner Pacific College
- Derek Moyer, Senior Adjunct Professor of Humanities at Warner Pacific College
- Rick North, Community for Earth Committee of First Unitarian Church
- Gulzar Ahmed, President of Crescent Systems in Tualatin
Contact: Derek Moyer at email@example.com
This forum is presented by Warner Pacific College and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon’s Interfaith Food and Farms Partnership, with generous support from the College’s Department of Humanities, Department of Religion and Christian Ministries, and Department of Natural Sciences and Health.
This purpose of this event is to cultivate dialogue and understanding in advance of the vote in November. Warner Pacific College is not taking a position on Ballot Measure 92.
Dr. David Ervin is the Professor of Environmental Management, Professor of Economics, and Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices at Portland State University. Dr. Ervin has also served as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Wallace Center for Agricultural and Environmental Policy and as the Director for the Policy Studies Program at the Henry A. Wallace Institute. Dr. Ervin is widely published in both books and scholarly journals for his research in Agricultural Biotechnology and Environmental Management, Business Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Policy Reform, and International Trade and Environmental Management.
Ivan Maluski is the Director of Friends of Family Farmers, a collaborative of Oregon’s independent family farmers, food advocates, and concerned citizens who are working to foster an approach to agriculture that respects the land, treats animals humanely, sustains local communities, and provides a viable livelihood for family farmers. Mr. Maluski farms in rural Linn County, and has more than a decade of experience working on natural resource policy issues at both the state and federal levels.
Rabbi Debra Kolodny (Rabbah D’vorah) has served as the Rabbi at P’nai Or in Portland since 2011. In 2013 she began splitting her time between P’nai Or and Nehirim, a national Jewish LGBTQ retreat and advocacy organization. Before moving to Portland Rabbah D’vorah served for nine years as the Executive Director of ALEPH, an international organization dedicated to inspiriting the Jewish world. While at ALEPH she envisioned, designed and led a national interfaith program on organic, sustainable and humane agriculture called the Sacred Foods Project, based on Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s z’l’ principles of Eco-Kashrut.
Dr. David Terrell is Professor of Physical Science at Warner Pacific College. After doing research at the Mexican Petroleum Institute and being a member of the Engineering Faculty at the National University in Mexico for more than 14 years, Dr. Terrell joined the faculty of Warner Pacific College to teach Physical Sciences. His passion for nature and the need for the promotion of stewardship of the environment keep Dr. Terrell very busy both inside and outside of the classroom. His academic duties involve teaching Physics, General and Organic Chemistry, and Environmental Science. He is an active member of international, national, and local scientific organizations.
Derek Moyer began teaching Humanities at Warner Pacific College in 2010. Since 2012, he has been a faculty director for one of the College’s First-Year Learning Communities, entitled “Food Carts, Farms, and Freddy’s: Thinking about Eating in Portland.” Professor Moyer’s teaching focuses on social and environmental ethics, and their intersections with the theological worlds we inhabit. Over the past few years, his research and teaching have increasingly focused on cultivating moral frameworks for understanding our relationships to food systems in the Portland area, and this has led to ongoing collaborations with organizations working to address food insecurity and food justice in Portland.
Rick North began his career teaching high school social studies in Canton, Ohio. He left teaching to work for the American Cancer Society for 21 years; from 1993-1998 he served as the executive vice president of the Oregon chapter. Mr. North is the founder and former project director of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility’s Campaign For Safe Food, confronting the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). He co-founded and led a national coalition opposing recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) in dairy products. As a volunteer, Rick North developed a faith-based program in 2001 to reduce global warming, which has since been implemented by numerous denominations and congregations all over the country.
Gulzar Ahmed is the President of Crescent Systems in Tualatin, where he is involved in designing and manufacturing material handling and packaging systems. He has been involved in religious and interfaith organizations in the Greater Portland area for the past 30 years. Mr. Ahmed is co-founder of the Islamic Society of Greater Portland, and past president of the American Muslim Alliance. He is the former co-chair of the Interfaith Council of Greater Portland and currently a board member of the Institute for Christian-Muslim Understanding. He has been speaking at various churches, schools, and organizations on the subjects of Islam, interfaith relations, and the importance of promoting understanding and cooperation between various faiths.