Seminars to Address Poverty, Genetically Engineered Foods

UCR School of Public Policy launches lecture series examining government regulatory and policy issues

photos of Erik Stegman and Greg Jaffe

Erik Stegman and Greg Jaffe will discuss policies regarding poverty and genetically engineered foods on Jan. 31 and Feb. 4.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Government policies aimed at cutting poverty and regulating genetically engineered foods will be addressed in separate lectures presented by the UC Riverside School of Public Policy on Jan. 31 and Feb. 4.

Erik Stegman, manager of the Half in Ten campaign at the Center for American Progress, will discuss “50 Years of the War on Poverty: Examining the Impacts and Implications for Cutting Poverty in Half Again in the 21st Century” on Jan. 31 at 12:30 p.m.

On Feb. 4, Greg Jaffe, director of the Project on Biotechnology at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, will discuss “Fitting Square Pegs into Round Holes: Regulatory and Policy Issues Surrounding Genetically Engineered Foods” at 12:30 p.m.

Both lectures will be held in Humanities 1500. They are free and open to the public. Parking costs $6 and permits may be purchased at the kiosk on West Campus Drive at the University Avenue entrance to the campus.

The lectures are part of the School of Public Policy’s Seminar Series, which brings to the campus leading policymakers and other experts to discuss possible solutions to a variety of issues confronting the region, state and nation.

Stegman is manager of the Half in Ten campaign at the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan educational institute. He leads the development of the center’s annual report on poverty, contributes to policy development, and manages the Half in Ten’s network of grassroots partners and coalition members to support its mission of building the political and public will to reduce poverty. He holds a B.A. from Whittier College, an M.A. in American Indian studies from UCLA, and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.

His seminar will explore what led to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of a war on poverty in 1964 that cut the national poverty rate in half between 1964 and 1973; the successes and challenges in reducing poverty; and what needs to be done to cut poverty in half again. He also will discuss results of a new national public opinion poll about poverty in America conducted by the Center for American Progress and the Half in Ten campaign.

Jaffe directs the Project on Biotechnology for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit consumer organization.  Formerly an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Enforcement Division, he is known internationally as an expert on agricultural biotechnology and biosafety. He earned his B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

He will address questions about the safety of genetically engineered foods, if they pose environmental risks, and what role the federal government should play in regulating them. He also will discuss whether there is any role for the federal government beyond safety regulation to ensure that engineered products are used responsibly to maximize their value.

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