Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

4-02-07

Contacts:

Manjit Misra, Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products, (515) 294-6821, mkmisra@iastate.edu

Jeff Wolt, Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products, (515) 294-6899, jdwolt@iastate.edu

Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778, tbarron@iastate.edu

Symposium will address risks, benefits and regulations of ag biotech at ISU April 18

AMES, Iowa - Officials from government, industry and academia will discuss issues related to agricultural biotechnology during the fourth annual symposium of Iowa State University's Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products (BIGMAP).

"Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Genetically Modified Agricultural Products," will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 18, at the Gateway Center, U.S. Highway 30 and Elwood Drive, Ames.

The morning session will feature four expert speakers who will present various perspectives on regulations, risks and benefit of ag biotech.

Sally McCammon will talk about the international harmonization of risk assessment of genetically modified organisms. She is head of the Office of Science for the Deputy Administrator for Biotechnology Regulatory Services, within the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. McCammon chairs the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development working group on the harmonization of regulatory oversight in biotechnology, and is a U.S. delegate to the CODEX ad hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology and on the executive committee of the International Society of Biosafety Research.

Felicia Wu will speak on "Bt Corn and Mycotoxin Reduction: The Fact, the Fiction and Regulatory Decisions." Wu, assistant professor in environmental and occupational health at the University of Pittsburgh, studies food safety and biotechnology. She has researched and written extensively on the economic impacts of mycotoxins in relation to the impact of strict European Union aflatoxin and fumonisin regulations on top agricultural exporters, including the US; Fusarium toxins in animal feed; and the economic benefit of genetically modified Bt corn in reducing mycotoxins.

Alan Raybould of Syngenta, United Kingdom, will present "Assessing the Risks of Increased Weediness of Genetically Modified Crops and Hybrids." Raybould is technical consultant for crop traits in Syngenta's Product Safety Department with responsibility for the environmental safety aspects of regulatory dossiers across Syngenta's agricultural biotechnology portfolio. He works on insect-resistant corn and cotton and corn for improved ethanol production.

Alan McHughen, molecular geneticist, University of California-Riverside, will talk on "Ag Biotech Regulation, Risk and Benefits: Who Represents the Public Interest?" McHughen is author of the award-winning book, "Pandora's Picnic Basket: The Potential and Hazards of Genetically Modified Foods." He helped develop U.S. and Canadian regulations covering genetically engineered crops and foods, and has served on two National Academy of Sciences panels. His talk will include perspectives in forging a system of co-existence (organic and genetically modified) in California.

The afternoon session will feature a panel discussion moderated by McCammon, and three speakers on global information needs: Moises Burachik, Biotechnology Office, Ministry of Economy and Production, Argentina; Quentin Kubicek, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture; and Norah Khadzini Olembo, African Biotechnology Stakeholders Forum, Kenya.

Registration fee is $100 ($50 for ISU faculty/staff, $25 for students or free for students not including lunch). 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 and is cosponsored by Iowa State's Plant Sciences Institute.

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Quick look

"Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Genetically Modified Agricultural Products"

Fourth annual symposium

Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products

Wednesday April 18

8:30 - 5 p.m.

Gateway Center, Ames

Morning session: Current Perspectives on Regulation, Risk and Benefit

Afternoon session: Global Information Needs

Registration fee is $100 ($50 for ISU faculty/staff, $25 for students or free for students not including lunch). For more information or to register,go online or call (800) 262-0015.