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Neil deGrasse Tyson explains GMOs in clip from documentary Food Evolution

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To paraphrase Jon Stewart, the three scariest letters in the English alphabet are GMO, even if many don’t know what GMO stands for. Genetically modified organism is the answer, and it’s a process widely used in scientific research into microbes and medicines — and much more controversially, the production of food.

Dip one toe in the world of grassroots advocacy and you’ll immediately hear about the fears and dangers of GMOs, along with the biotechnology corporation Monsanto, one of the world’s leaders in the field of genetic engineering. At issue in the fight against GMOs are matters of regulation and labeling.

But the topic is perhaps not so black and white — at least according to filmmaker Scott Hamilton Kennedy (2008’s Oscar nominated The Garden), whose new documentary Food Evolution gives credibility to GMOs as an agricultural positive. In the film, Kennedy has cast a wide net, interviewing a number of scientists, advocates, even top Monsanto employees. And he squired a calming, familiar voice to narrative the film: pop astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey).

In the clip above, Tyson takes viewers through a brief history of biotechnology in food production. There’s an obvious emphasis on the importance and the acceptance of science in the clip — a cause of strange bedfellows in the pro and anti-GMO fight, which Food Evolution digs deep into.

The film opens on June 23 in limited release, with more theaters and cities being added during the summer. Click here for the documentary’s official website and trailer.

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