The future of local food: the GM debate

The people of Greater Bendigo are being invited to sink their teeth into the big issues surrounding the food debate.

Vice Chancellor’s Fellow Dr Elizabeth FinkelA forum on the topic ‘Getting beyond the GM debate: What really matters for food security and Impacts of Local Food Supply: What is the evidence?’ will be presented by La Trobe University on Thursday 8 August.

Leading science writer and La Trobe Vice Chancellor’s Fellow Dr Elizabeth Finkel will discuss one of the most controversial topics in the food security area: GM crops. La Trobe Associate Professor,

Community Planning and Development, Trevor Budge will tackle the concepts of ‘local food’ and what it really means.

‘Recently there has been a lot of media surrounding the supermarket price wars on milk, breach of contracts to fruit growers in the Goulburn Valley and the reductions in water rights to farmers,’ said Mr Budge.

‘What has not been adequately addressed is the long-term impacts that these sort of actions have on not only those directly engaged in the industries but their local economies and stakeholders.’

Other issues to be discussed include the complexities of local food and the social economic, scientific and environmental elements of the debate.

Dr Finkel is a prominent science writer, co-founder of Cosmos magazine and a correspondent for the American magazine Science. She is also a trustee of the Hadassah Australia Foundation, a member of the advisory board of Step Ahead Australia, a member of the Monash Initiative for Global Health Improvement and in 2012 was the winner of the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award.

Mr Budge is an expert in the fields of regional planning and food security. He has been published widely within Australia and in 2011 was awarded an AM Member in the General Division in the Order of Australia for ‘services to town planning, particularly the development of regional and rural communities in Victoria, and to education.’

The forum is a part of La Trobe University’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Arts and Planning Forum series.

It will be held at La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre, 121 View Street, Bendigo between 6pm and 8pm. This is a free event but RSVP is essential. To register or find out more about the event click here or contact Jessica White, phone (03) 5444 7766 or email


Media enquiries

Zerin Knight, Media Liaison, T 03 5444 7375, M 0428 463 161 E