Hot Topics in Food Safety Biotechnology Facts without Fiction: The Truth Is Out There

Volume 6, No. 1, Winter 2001

Kevin M. Keener

These days everyone hears a lot about biotechnology, such as how monarch butterflies are going to be killed off and superman-like weeds are going to take over. Media tends to sensationalize things that are new, such as biotechnology. There is significant promise in the use of biotechnology for increasing food production, decreasing pesticide use, preventing disease, and many more applications. The technology is not without risk, but all actions contain risk, from driving a car to getting out of the bathtub. The truth on biotechnology is out there and available. Two recent fact sheets put together by Dr. Kevin Keener and Dr. Tom Hoban separate the fact from fiction. One is for consumers (Biotechnology Answers to Common Questions), and the second is for Extension agents (Biotechnology and Its Applications).

Additional resources on biotechnology can be found through the Food Safety Information Retrieval System Web site . Other “hot topics” in food safety addressed on the Web site are

  • Irradiation
  • Biotechnology
  • Natural disasters
  • food preservation methods
  • Emergency food and water supply
  • BSE (mad cow disease)
  • Kitchen safety tips
  • Food safety away from home
  • Foodborne illness
  • Food handling and storage
  • Tips for holidays
  • Cooking methods and preparation
  • Pesticides, chemicals, and additives
  • Specially sensitive populations
  • Product labeling and dating
  • New products
  • Time & temperature
  • Questionable practices
  • Food science facts
  • General food safety

The Web site “Hot Topics in Food Safety” was developed and is maintained by Melissa C. Taylor.


Kevin M. Keener, Ph.D., P.E., Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science, NC State University. .



Cite this article:

Keener, Kevin. “Biotechnology facts without fiction: the truth is out there.” The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues 6.1 (2000): 2 pars. February 2001.