BIO Honors Senator Lugar as Biotech Legislator of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 27, 2000) The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) named U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) 1999-2000 Legislator of the Year. BIO’s board of directors presented Sen. Lugar with the award today for his distinguished leadership and promotion of biotechnology research.

BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum stated, We are honored to work with and recognize Senator Lugar, whose leadership has helped ensure that the U.S. biotech industry will continue developing innovative products to improve agriculture, medicine, industrial manufacturing and environmental management for this and the next generation.

Val Giddings, BIO’s vice president for food and agriculture, said, Senator Lugar’s informed and passionate advocacy of biotechnology, in both his role as a farmer and as chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, has helped foster public awareness and understanding of the benefits of biotechnology. Senator Lugar has been an exemplary spokesman, promoting the significance of research to the continued development of biotech products that will help improve human health and agriculture around the world.

Sen. Lugar also authored the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000, recently signed into law, encouraging research on the use of enzymes in the conversion of biomass to energy. The initiative will create and sustain a healthier and cleaner environment by providing farmers with a new market for agricultural waste products, while reducing U.S. dependency on foreign oil.

In 1998, Sen. Lugar championed a $120 million initiative tosupport research for agricultural biotechnology, genomics and food safety. These grants enable scientists to study ways of improving food nutrition and increasing crop yields to feed the world’s growing population.

BIO represents more than 920 biotechnology companies, academic institutions and biotech centers in all 50 states and in 26 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.