OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Genetically engineered foods topic at OSU-Cascades campus

10/25/2002

BEND - "Genetically Engineered Foods: A Tomato is a Tomato - or is it?" is the subject of a Nov. 4 lecture at Oregon State University-Cascades Campus.

The 7 p.m. lecture in Hitchcock Auditorium by Terri Lomax, an OSU professor of botany and plant pathology, is free and open to the public.

Genetically engineered foods are the subject of intense debate in the region. Measure 27 on the November ballot would make Oregon the first state in the nation to require labeling of genetically engineered foods and dairy products sold or distributed in, or from, Oregon. Many processed foods now contain ingredients derived from genetically engineered corn and soy crops.

As a growing, global industry, the fruits of gene research are now in the commercial marketplace everywhere from the grocery store to the doctor's office. But as this multi-billion dollar revolution in science has evolved, critics have raised many concerns and legitimate questions, Lomax said.

Many consumers, Lomax said, simply aren't sure what to think or whom to believe.

Lomax is director of OSU's Program for the Analysis of Biotechnology Issues, which provides information about genetically engineered crops to the public, the news media and policy makers. She teaches cell and molecular biology issues at OSU's Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology and previously served as the interim director of the Molecular and Cellular Biology graduate program.

Her primary research area is plant developmental biology and she is currently focusing on understanding how multiple hormones interact to regulate plant growth and responses to the environment.

She received her bachelor's degree in botany from the University of Washington, and a master's in botany-biology from San Diego State University. She earned a doctorate in biological sciences from Stanford University and was a National Science Foundation Plant Biology Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington at Stanford.