Consumer Acceptance, Genetically Engineered Agriculture Products and Biotech Crop Development to be the Focus at the 2012 BIO International Convention

  • Contact: Abigail Hirsch
  • Phone: 202-962-9235
  • Email: ahirsch@bio.org
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WASHINGTON, DC – (May 1, 2012) – For every dollar invested in agricultural research, we reap up to $20 in economic benefit. The 2012 BIO International Convention looks to give a global perspective on regulatory and acceptance issues within the food and agriculture sector of the industry through the Food & Agriculture educational track, the Leadership Summit and the Food and Ag pavilion. Hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization(BIO), this year’s global event for biotechnology will take place June 18-21, 2012 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, MA.

“Attendees can expect international biotech leaders to explore the countless issues that threaten the acceptance and adoption of food and agriculture issues impacting the United States and the globe,” said Cathleen Enright, executive vice president of Food & Agriculture at BIO. “Through the dialogue amongst domestic and international leaders that Convention fosters, the spotlight will shine on how the industry can overcome these challenges and hope to bring about change in the policy and regulatory environment.”

Food and Agriculture session highlights include:

Co-Existence in the Real World: How Biotech and Organic Can Get Along

Growers of organic and other non-biotech specialty crops are lobbying for restrictions on biotech crop growers to protect against unwanted cross pollination. In the European Union, co-existence guidelines place most of the burden on biotech growers. But in North America, farmers and plant breeders have long relied on commonsense, cooperative practices to restrict gene flow and promote co-existence. This session will discuss practices that farmers and seed producers already use to ensure genetic identity preservation, examine the impacts of European co-existence plans, and critically assess proposed planting restrictions, liability funds, and other recommendations.

Wednesday, June 20, 8:30 – 9:45 a.m.

Moderator: Gregory Conko, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Speakers: Don Cameron, Vice President and General Manager, Terranova Ranch Inc., Daniel Persall, Secretary, Supply chain Initiative on Modified Agriculture Crops and Allen Van Dynze, Professor, UC Davis

Environmental Permitting for GE Plant and Animal Products

Amidst the slew of environmental lawsuits in recent years, it has indeed been a challenge to seek regulatory approval for genetically engineered products. The panel will address how to navigate a successful review and survive a lawsuit if one should arise. Speakers will also discuss FDA's review process for GE animal products, and they will update attendees on APHIS' new National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Pilot Program and how it may lead to a better review process.  

Thursday, June 21, 8:30 – 9:45 a.m.

Moderator: Kathryn Kusske Floyd, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Speakers: Jay Johnson, Of Counsel, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Mark Krieger, Global Leader, Biotechnology Registration and Operations. DowAgroSciences, T. Clint Nesbitt, Chief of Staff, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Ron Stotish, CEO, AquaBounty Technologies

Supporting Biotech Crop Development in Less Developed Markets

Why exactly do public research organizations in developing countries struggle to keep pace with advances in the developed world? How can private organizations and governments promote better collaboration and engagement between the more-and less-developed countries, to overcome these challenges? This session will present these challenges in more detail, discuss how the developed world public and private sector can more substantively engage to overcome these challenges, and offer some possible new approaches to north-south collaboration in agricultural biotechnology.

Wednesday, June 20, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Moderator: Robert Paarlberg, Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College

Speakers: Denis Kyetere, Executive Director, African Agricultural Technology Foundation and Eric Rey, President, Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.

The Strategy of Trust: Moving from Consumer Acceptance to Consumer Action

Many consumer surveys confirm a general acceptance of biotechnology in agriculture but the most vocal consumer groups are those who oppose biotech. The apparent lack of consumer support has slowed adoption of biotech products outside of the major commodity crops and delayed the regulatory process for all biotech products. Thus communication strategies focused on demonstrating alignment of company values with consumer values are more likely to gain active support from consumers than the typical focus on demonstrating the developer’s competence. This session will explore alternative communication strategies that can be used to build consumer trust based on alignment of values.

Tuesday, June 19, 3:45 – 5:00 p.m.

Speakers: Andrew Powell, Consultant, Asia Biobusiness Pte. Ltd., Andrew Roberts, Lead Brand Strategist, Erawan Education and Suzanne Turner, President, Turner Strategies

In addition to the Food & Agriculture education track, the Convention will also host a Leadership Summit: Harvesting the Commercial Potential of Emerging Agricultural and Industrial Biotechnologies. This special event, Monday, June 18, 1:00 – 4:45, will engage high-level leaders from government, the finance industry, public institutions and private companies to examine the needs, risks, and strategies for financing development and commercialization of innovative agricultural and industrial biotechnology products. The event will also discuss the role various institutions play in supporting technologies that lead to opportunities for investment and drive innovation in the marketplace.

This year, the Food and Ag pavilion will be a part of the larger BIO pavilion located in the North Lobby area of the convention center. The Food and Ag pavilion will serve as the information center for agriculture biotech - both plant and animal – emphasizing how technologies and products both provide the means to produce the food, fiber and fuel our world needs, as well as preserve our natural resources. Furthermore, the focus will be on carbon capture, soil and biodiversity preservation, the future pipeline of products and their benefits, and animal biotech’s contribution to human health.

The BIO International Convention will highlight the latest trends and the newest opportunities for executives, investors, scientists, policy leaders, and media from around the world. Speakers at the sessions will share breakthroughs in medicine, diagnostics, the environment, energy production, business operations, financing, partnerships, policy issues and food and agriculture. Visit http://convention.bio.org/program/ for the most up-to-date program and speaker information.

The Convention also features the BIO Business Forum, a unique platform for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, academic research institutions, and investors from around the world to gather and discuss strategic opportunities. For registration, conference agenda and exhibitor information, visit 2012 BIO International Convention.

 

Upcoming BIO Events 
 
May 15-16, 2012
Frankfurt, Germany
 
2012 BIO International Convention
June 18-21, 2012
Boston, MA
 
June 18 – 21, 2012
Boston, MA
 
September 12 – 13, 2012
Mumbai, India
 
September 19 – 21, 2012
Kansas City, MO
 
October 9-10, 2012
San Francisco, CA
 
October 24 – 25, 2012
Shanghai, China 
 
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About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.