Michael Hansen Bio Page

Michael Hansen

Dr. Michael Hanson: Consumers Union

Michael K. Hansen Ph.D., a Senior Staff Scientist with Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, currently works primarily on food safety issues. He has been largely responsible for developing CU positions on safety, testing and labeling of genetically engineered food and “mad cow” disease. Since 2003, he has worked on a multi-state effort to ban the use of food crops to produce pharmaceutical drugs and industrial chemicals.
Dr. Hansen has testified at hearings in Washington, D.C., many states, and Canada, and has prepared comments on many proposed U.S. governmental rules and regulations on food safety issues. He also represents Consumers International, a federation of more than 250 organizations in 110 countries, at Codex Alimentarius and other international fora on issues. Dr. Hansen speaks on CU’s concerns on mad cow disease, GMOs, pest management, and antibiotics in animal feed, at meetings and conferences throughout the world. He is widely quoted in the media.

Dr. Hansen served on the USDA Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology from 1998-2002, and on the California Department of Food and Agriculture Food Biotechnology Advisory Committee, from 2001-2002. He was appointed to a FAO/WHO Joint Consultation on Genetically Engineered Animals in 2003. In June 2005, he joined the Board of ETC Group, previously known as RAFI.

Dr. Hansen authored the Consumers Union book Pest Control for House and Garden, published in 1992, and co-authored Pest Management at the Crossroads, a 1996 policy study on integrated pest management. He has also written reports on alternatives to agricultural pesticides in
developing countries, and the pesticide and agriculture policies of the World Bank and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. He wrote CU’s 1990 report on recombinant bovine growth hormone, Biotechnology and Milk: Benefit or Threat? In 2004, he co-authored Pharmaceutical Rice in California: Potential Risks to Consumers, the Environment and the California Rice Industry.

Dr. Hansen received his undergraduate degree with Highest Distinction from Northwestern University and his doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan. He did post-graduate study at the University of Kentucky on the impacts of biotechnology on agricultural research. He conducted field research on pest management in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish.

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