The widespread introduction and adoption of Roundup Ready soybeans and insect resistant “Bt” corn and cotton just more than a decade ago has reshaped the global food system, impacting everything from farmers' production tools to consumers' food choices.

How the experiences of the first crop biotechnology decade will shape the future of food systems, environmental issues and public policies is the subject of a Farm Foundation conference, The Second Decade of Crop Biotechnology: Opportunities and Challenges for the Food System.  The conference will be Jan. 16-17, 2008, at the Westin City Center, Washington, D.C.

“As we go forward into the second decade of crop biotechnology, it is important to examine lessons learned and the challenges before us,” says Farm Foundation Fellow Ann Bublitz, who is organizing the conference.  “Experiences to date will influence business strategies, public policies and environmental and social issues as we move forward.  This conference is an opportunity to examine the issues and discuss the options.”

Conference sessions will address biotechnology in the food system, including issues relative to crop production, food safety, private and public investments, biodiversity and environmental, biofuels and global food issues.  Keynoting the conference will be noted geneticist Norman Ellstrand of the University of California, Riverside.  He will address the impact of crop biotechnology on the environment.

In addition to representatives from government agencies, speakers include:

  • Clive James, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications
  • Eric Sachs, Monsanto
  • Jim Webster, Webster Agricultural Letter
  • Jorg Riesmeier, LSP BioVentures
  • David McElroy, Targeted Growth, Inc.
  • Deepthi Kolady, Cornell University
  • Murray Spruill, Alston and Bird
  • Don Goodwin, Golden Sun Marketing
  • Patrick Rüdelsheim, PERSEUS bvba
  • Ann Tutwiler, Hewlett Foundation
  • Alex Fink, Pioneer Hi-Bred International
  • Neal Gutterson, Mendel Biotechnology

The conference is targeted to production agriculture, the crop-input industry, environmental organizations, consumer groups, government agencies and academia interested in examining public policy, business and social issues generated by the evolution of crop biotechnology in the food system.

The conference program, as well as conference registration and hotel information, are posted on the Farm Foundation Web site, www.farmfoundation.org.

Source: Farm Foundation