ISU forum will focus on biotechnology, regulation, trade and coexistence April 18

AMES, Iowa - Iowa State University's Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products (BIGMAP) will welcome experts from industry, government and academia to discuss the role of regulation in biotechnology and genetically modified agriculture production for a symposium titled "Agricultural Biotechnology Regulation, Trade and Coexistence."

This is BIGMAP's ninth annual conference and runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. April 18 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center, 2100 Green Hills Drive, Ames.

"The rapid pace of innovation in agriculture biotechnology is providing new challenges and opportunities for risk management and innovation," said Jeff Wolt, professor of agronomy and an organizer of the event.

"Speakers will be providing a diverse perspective on how this innovation is shaping approaches not only to regulation, but also far-ranging broad social issues such as international trade, coexistence and sustainability," he added.

The keynote address of the morning session will be given by Catherine Woteki, chief scientist and undersecretary for research, education, and economics at the United States Department of Agriculture and former agriculture dean at Iowa State. Woteki will share current perspectives regarding science and regulation for the continued success of U.S. agriculture.

The consul general of India will also address the attendees. Mukta D. Tomar will speak on "Promoting Trade Between the United States and India Through Science and Technology."

Other speakers include Gregory Jaffe, project director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, speaking on "The Changing Domestic and International Landscape for Biotechnology and Biosafety;" Alison Van Eenennaam, extension specialist for animal genomics and biotechnology at the University of California, Davis, discussing "Genetically Engineered Animals Tangled in Regulatory and Political Deadlock;" Thomas P. Redick of the Global Environmental Ethics Counsel presenting "Litigation Surrounding Ag-Biotech Regulatory Approvals;" and Jack Bobo, senior advisor for biotechnology at the State Department, addressing "Trade Wreck? When Ag Policy Meets Reality."

The afternoon session principal speaker will be Sano Shimoda of Bioscience Securities Inc., who will speak on "Science and Technology Has Opened up Pandora's Box in Agriculture - Are You Ready for Surprises?"

Also speaking during the afternoon session are Adrianne Massey, managing director of science and regulatory affairs, food and agriculture, for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, on "Industry Perspectives on Stewardship for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products;" Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, director of economics and management of the Agrobiotechnology Center at the University of Missouri, Columbia, presenting "Unintended Trait Presence from Genetically Modified Crop Production;" and Wallace Huffman, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences from Iowa State University, presenting "Managing for Coexistence."

Register soon

Anyone interested in attending the symposium can register by calling 515-294-6222 or visiting Iowa State faculty and staff receive complimentary registration, but must register by close of business April 12.

The symposium was made possible with funds from the Food, Feed and Fuel Initiative: Iowa and the USDA.

The Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products provides public-based expertise in risk assessment, communication and mitigation strategies for agricultural biotechnology. For more information about BIGMAP, visit