The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) thanks members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, in particular Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kans.), Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), for reauthorizing farm programs that are valuable to the biotechnology industry and ensuring they have the funding to work.
BIO President & CEO Jim Greenwood said, “The important energy title programs authorized and funded in this bill are just beginning to have a positive impact in revitalizing rural America, fueling economic growth and creating well-paying opportunities where we need it most -- in manufacturing, energy, agriculture and forestry. These programs can also help meet our responsibilities to revitalize rural areas, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and renew economic growth. The Farm Bill’s energy title and proposals to support biomanufacturing will help the United States maintain its competitive leadership in biotechnology, manufacturing and agriculture – ensuring that what we grow here in the United States can be used to make new products here and create jobs here.
“These programs would provide the highest return on taxpayer dollars and ensure the future of emerging energy and renewable chemical markets, if the bill is passed by the full Congress. These programs already have helped renewable energy companies unlock private capital for construction of advanced biorefineries, something that has been extraordinarily difficult during the recent economic downturn. They also have helped farmers in over 150 counties across 10 states begin to put more than 150,000 acres of underutilized farmland into production of next generation energy crops. The programs have further ignited an explosion of innovation and early commercialization of renewable chemicals here in the United States. Overall, the programs have demonstrated a high rate of success. “The biotechnology industry also thanks the Senate Agriculture Committee for making important investments in agricultural research and trade. The government’s commitment to research on plants, animals, and minor use crops will allow scientists to improve technologies and invigorate know-how so that food can be produced on a limited land base using safe, efficient, and sustainable methods.”