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The loss of biodiversity is at the center of a heated global debate. At issue, are the economic and social consequences of biodiversity loss and its connections to technology policy
In an encore episode of The Business Beat, originally aired in August 2011, Steve D'Agostino interviews Dr. Ignacio Chapela, PhD. They talk about reshaping the food system by eliminating genetically modified organisms.
Chapela is associate professor of microbial ecology at the University of California at Berkeley and senior scientist at the Norwegian Center for Biosafety. Since 1996, he has advised national governments and multilateral institutions on policy-making on genetic engineering and sovereignty over genetic resources. He assists indigenous organizations and NGOs in Latin America and elsewhere to meet challenges related to genetic engineering.
Chapela is actively involved in the debate on biodiversity loss, its economic and social consequences and its connections to technology policy. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council for Responsible Genetics and a member of the Scientific Board of the Sunshine Project, dedicated to bring light into the world of bio-warfare and bio-defense.
Chapela trained as a microbial ecologist, specializing in fungal symbioses, and has held various research posts in the UK, Switzerland and both coasts of the US, where he developed an active research program integrating bench and field biology with policy. Before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, Ignacio, a native of Mexico, worked in the agro- and pharma industry, academia and policy-making institutions. In addition to his work on microbial ecology, he has also engaged in research on the access, ownership and stewardship of genetic resources. He has been actively involved in discussions and policy-making for conservation of wildscapes and non-commodity natural resources.