Leading scientists, researchers and policymakers will gather for an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) panel discussion on the safety of genetically engineered crops and obstacles to their commercialization. The panel will take place on Friday, February 18th from 1:30-4:30 p.m. EST at the AAAS meeting in Washington DC.
Panelists include Dr. Nina Fedoroff, a leading geneticist and former Science and Technology Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State (and former guest blogger!). Dr. Fedoroff is currently a professor at Penn State and the new president of AAAS. The panel will also feature Dr. Roger Beachy, a world-renowned plant scientist and Director of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) at the USDA.
CBI Expert Dr. Wayne Parrott of the University of Georgia and co-organizer of the panel, wrote this blog to discuss his views on a science-based regulatory system.
Follow CBI on Twitter as we will be live-tweeting the panel @agbiotech. For more information and a full panel description, visit the AAAS website.
Special CBI guest blogger, Dr. Wayne Parrott
Professor of Crop Science, University of Georgia
As a scientist I am pleased to hear President Obama stress the importance of innovation and science as drivers of the 21st century economy. However, the agencies his administration oversees are not singing the same tune. Excessive, outdated, unscientific, and prohibitively expensive regulatory policies at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) impede the development and commercialization of technologically advanced genetically modified (GM) foods that could provide benefits ranging from longer shelf life and improved nutrition to using fewer pesticides.
Although 14 years of data supports the health and environmental safety of these crops, overly complex and costly regulatory hurdles are restricting consumer access. The full deregulation of biotech alfalfa was a positive first step, but there needs to be more action to ensure a regulatory system that is efficient and science-based. Such a system could give the same safety level as the current system but at a fraction of the cost.
Therefore, I am pleased to be co-organizing a panel of scientists and policymakers at the 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting. The panel, titled “GM Crop Regulations: Safety Net or Insurmountable Obstacle?” will discuss this important issue and ways to streamline the current regulatory system so that it is guided by scientific principles.
For more information, please click here or email Ariel Gruswitz at firstname.lastname@example.org
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