WASHINGTON, D.C. (Monday, May 23, 2011) - The 2011 BIO International Convention will feature a series of high level panels examining the latest biotechnology advancements designed to address pressing global food production, genetically engineered food and animal biotechnology. Hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the Convention will be taking place June 27-30, 2011, in Washington, D.C. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
"Through biotechnology, we have the means to address significant challenges like global population growth and hunger," said Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of BIO. "With agricultural advancements used by more than 15 million farmers worldwide to increase yields, prevent pest damage and reduce farming's environmental impact, agricultural biotechnology breakthroughs continue to be a significant driver for global industry growth."
In 2009, countries that grew 95% of the global biotech crops were the United States (46%), Brazil (16%), Argentina (15%), India (6%), Canada (6%), China (3%), Paraguay (2%) and South Africa (2%). Such biotechnological advancements will play a critical role for ensuring sustainable nourishment and global food production, because by 2100 the global population will pass 10 billion according to a recent United Nations report.
Biotech fruit also will take center stage at the food and agricultural pavilion within the BIO Exhibition. Hawaiian Farmer Ken Kamiya will host a papaya tasting event for attendees, showcasing firsthand how crops are improved through biotechnology. In the mid-nineties, the ringspot virus had devastated much of Hawaii's papaya production. Biotechnology effectively saved the Hawaiian papaya industry with its transgenic papaya varieties that are resistant to the virus. Today, genetically modified papayas are approved for consumption in the United States and Canada. Several Asian countries are currently developing their own varieties.
In addition to the food and agricultural pavilion, nine sessions during Convention will focus on the latest innovations currently underway in the sector. CEOs from food and agricultural industry companies, farmers and agricultural researchers will discuss global regulatory issues and technological developments that are enhancing agricultural sustainability.
Session highlights include:
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 28
The panel will examine the current international grain trade handling systems, the challenges associated with co-mingling and "zero tolerance," and the policies being debated by countries around the world.
Speakers include: Abraham Manalo, Biotech Coalition of the Philippines; Paul Myers, Programs Canadian Food Inspection Agency; and Janice Tranberg, CropLife Canada.
A Look into the Future of Animal Biotechnology
8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, June 29
This panel will discuss the regulatory and market implications of current and future animal biotechnologies.
Speakers include: Mark Walton, MWalton Enterprises, LLC; and Zhiying Zhang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Getting a Biotech Crop to Market — How Much, How Long, and What Steps?
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 29
Panelists will discuss the costs and time to bring a biotech-derived crop to the international marketplace, including private sector R&D investments needed, and the elements of a successful market acceptance program.
Speakers include: Francisco Aragão, Embrapa; Josette Lewis, Arcadia Biosciences; and John McDougall, Phillips McDougall.
The BIO International Convention is the largest global event for the biotechnology industry, offering networking and partnering opportunities with policymakers, scientists, CEOs and newsmakers, and hundreds of sessions covering biotech trends, policy issues and technological innovations. 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 2011 BIO International Convention.