Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

04-05-06

Contacts:

Manjit Misra, Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products, (515) 294-6821

Jeff Wolt, Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products, (515) 294-6899

Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778

Ag biotech communications, policy and regulations focus of ISU symposium April 18

AMES, Iowa -- The leading biotechnology reporter for the Associated Press, a director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and other national experts will discuss issues surrounding agricultural biotech during the third annual symposium of Iowa State University's Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products (BIGMAP).

"Understanding and Communicating Issues in Agricultural Biotechnology," will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Tuesday April 18, at the Gateway Center, U.S. Highway 30 and Elwood Drive, Ames.

"The symposium will be divided into two over-arching sessions: one will be about science and policy issues in agricultural biotechnology; the other will focus on communication of agricultural biotechnology risks and benefits," said Jeff Wolt, professor of agronomy.

"Risk communication has been a point of interest for all parties involved -- journalists, regulators, industry and academic researchers," Misra said. "We are including journalists and communications experts in the symposium to explore how we communicate science in a meaningful way so the public understands the risks and the benefits of agricultural biotechnology."

Speakers include:

  • Paul Elias, biotechnology reporter, Associated Press, San Francisco, will present the media perspective on communicating agricultural biotech risks and benefits;
  • Thomas Hoban, professor of sociology, anthropology and food science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, will discuss societal views on the issue of communicating ag biotech risks and benefits;
  • Stig Albinus, managing director, U.S. Healthcare Practice, Burson-Marsteller, New York, will talk about the public relations dimensions of food risk communications;
  • Mary Ditto, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Food Additive Safety, Division of Biotechnology, Washington, D.C., will present, "Early Food Safety Evaluation of New Non-Pesticidal Proteins";
  • Gregory Jaffe, director, Biotechnology Project, Center for Science in the Public Interest, and BIGMAP advisory council member, will speak on "Regulating Agricultural Biotechnology: A Consumer Perspective";
  • Guy Cardineau, research professor, Arizona Biodesign Institute and College of Law, Arizona State University, Tempe, will speak on "Plant-made Subunit Vaccines for Animal Health"; and
  • Bob Peterson, associate professor, land resources and environmental sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, BIGMAP advisory council member, will present, "Assessing and Communicating Comparative Risks Associated with Biotechnology."

Panel discussions will be moderated by Rebecca Bech, associate deputy administrator, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Eric Abbott, professor, ISU Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.

A wine and cheese reception will follow the sessions at 4:45 p.m.

Registration fee is $100 ($50 for ISU faculty/staff or $25 for students). The deadline for registration is April 12. For more information or to register, visit http://www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/bigmap/home.html or call (800) 262-0015.

The Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products provides public-based expertise in risk assessment, communication and mitigation strategies for agricultural biotechnology. The symposium was made possible with funds from USDA, Iowa State's Plant Sciences Institute and the Iowa Crop Improvement Association.

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Quick look

AP's leading biotech reporter, a director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and others will discuss issues surrounding ag biotech during the third annual BIGMAP symposium. "Understanding and Communicating Issues in Agricultural Biotechnology," will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Tuesday April 18, at the Gateway Center, Ames. More

Quote

"We are including journalists and communications experts in the symposium to explore how we communicate science in a meaningful way so the public understands the risks and the benefits of agricultural biotechnology."

Manjit Misra Director, Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products