Address: Café la Cave
2777 Mannheim Rd
Des Plaines, IL 60018
Phone: (847) 827-7818
4:00 - 5:00 PM - Executive Board Meeting
5:00 - 6:00 PM - Social Hour with cash bar and Appetizers
6:00 - 8:30 PM - Dinner & Presentation
Genetically Modified Organisms have increasingly found themselves at the epicenter of a complex debate in the food industry over the last several years, most recently culminating with the preemption of the Vermont GMO labeling law and a federal mandate for USDA to provide a standard for GMO disclosure in 2018. Both sides of the GMO debate offer a combination of data, legislative precedence and reasoning in support for their claims, however the difference between the derived conclusions of their respective sides has resulted in a evermore polarized entrenchment of the two camps. This event will present two distinct positions within the nuanced and multi-faceted GMO discussion; in the style of a moderated public debate.
Benjamin Howard (Director, Certified Laboratories) will lead an interactive debate between Sunny Gilbert (Project Scientist, Cofactor Genomics) and Joel Warady (VP Marketing, Enjoy Life Foods). A basic resolution will be presented “GMO vs Non-GMO” and each debater will present their claims and reasoning to the argument. Positions on GMOs will be presented from several perspectives including: the availability of data to support either position, potential public health implications, consumers right to know, the projected economic impact of regulation and recommendations on the best path forward.
Given the recent heightened attention given to this subject, the potential implications of the pending USDA standards for disclosure, and the unique personalities and perspectives of the debate participants, this is sure to be lively and well attended event. We highly encourage you to participate now!
Ben Howard has worked in the food testing services industry for the entirety of his career and has held scientific positions in high-throughput and contract research laboratories. His areas of expertise include contract research study design and execution, product development, molecular services, assay development and validation, laboratory management and environmental troubleshooting and remediation. Most recently in his career, Ben joined Certified Laboratories and currently holds a Laboratory Director position at their Midwest facility which opened in 2012. The Certified Laboratories Midwest facility is a center of excellence for molecular services, and includes an ISO 17025 accredited GMO detection and quantification program. Given the unique position of contract laboratories, who frequently operate as a conduit between industry, regulation and technology providers; Ben’s position offers an excellent frame of reference to serve as an informed and objective moderator for the GMO debate.
Joel Warady is Chief Sales & Marketing Officer of Enjoy Life Foods, a leading brand in the North American Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly CPG category that has experienced 8 consecutive years of growth under his guidance. Within the last 18 months, he has been ranked as one of the Top 50 CMOs on Twitter by Social Media Marketing Magazine, one of the Top 50 Most Influential CMOs on Social Media by Forbes.com and most recently was included in Brand Quarterly magazine’s list of 50 Marketing Thought Leaders Over 50. Since the February, 2015 acquisition by Mondelez International, Joel has worked diligently to unite the Enjoy Life nimble entrepreneurial culture with the power (and complexity) that a $34 billion company brings to the mix.
Dr. Sunny D. Gilbert first became aware of plant genetic modification technology as a high school senior whose interest in biology propelled her to seek out a summer internship at Monsanto Company. She went on to complete four internships with Monsanto researching methods for engineering plants to produce biodegradable plastics and herbicide-resistance proteins while earning a Bachelors’ of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Post-graduation she earned a Damon Runyan Cancer Research Fellowship, ironically for her work researching mechanism of gene regulation in plants in the Botany and Plant Pathology Department at Oregon State University. Her research caught the attention of scientists at Monsanto where she was subsequently hired to work in their Chemistry Technology Division on next-generation biological herbicide discovery projects. While at Monsanto, she participated in and led efforts focused on GMO engagement. She also often volunteered her time to give public presentations on the technology to groups as disparate as law classes, nutrition graduate classes, cycling clubs, and university forums.
Recently, she has transitioned out of the laboratory to engage directly with clinicians and researchers in the design and implementation of next-generation sequencing projects as a Project Scientist with Cofactor Genomics. In her free time, she can be found in her native perennial and vegetable gardens, traveling and racing bicycles around the world, experimenting with food in her kitchen, or running and biking in the woods with the two loves of her life: her husband Doug, and her dog Gunner.
Until Thursday, February 9th
$25.00 Emeritus/Student Members
$50.00 Members/Professional Members (Unemployed Members/Professional Members can use voucher UNEMP-1010050 to save 50%)
After Thursday, February 9th
$30.00 Emeritus/Student Members
$60.00 Members/Professional Members