Industrial biotechnology is creating new markets for traditional agricultural crops and crop residues as renewable feedstocks, chemical intermediates, and energy sources.
Industrial biotechnology is already reducing pollution and manufacturing costs in some industry sectors. It holds great promise to further reduce pollution and the consumption of raw materials if deployed more broadly; this, in turn, can reduce the cost of producing goods and may lead to better products. Because industrial biotechnology can utilize many renewable feedstocks, such as corn and other agricultural crops and crop residues, it may provide new sources of income for farmers. This report aims to deliver information on these powerful new biotechnology tools to the public, policymakers, NGOs, the press, and corporate America. All of these groups have a stake in a cleaner future and need to be informed about the latest technological developments that are available to improve our world.
4. Inspire a wider inquiry into industrial biotechnology.
The Industrial and Environmental Section of BIO, its members, and some national policymakers possess greater familiarity with the current and potential uses for industrial biotechnology than the target audience for this document. From that familiarity comes our optimism about the possible benefits that can be derived from greater industrial biotechnology use. BIO strongly believes that as an understanding of this field spreads, so, too, will the general sense of enthusiasm about this powerful technology. At the same time, we can not expect that reaction on the strength of this document alone. Industrial biotechnology encompasses a multitude of products and processes. Each will need to endure the scrutiny of potential customers, policymakers, NGOs, and the public. Our expectation is that this report will inform as well as raise questions. We invite those whose interest is aroused, but whose questions are not satisfied, to join with BIO in future research dialogues and other efforts to widen the inquiry into industrial biotechnology’s current and potential benefits.