The U.S. Grains Council is hosting the sixth International Biotechnology Information Conferences this week and will attract more than 60 participants from more than 20 countries. While it sounds like a small group, it's impact is wide ranging in the countries represented.
Gretchen Flanley, USGC director of biotechnology programs, explains that this year's event addresses low-level presence and risk management relative to what she calls "asynchronous approvals of products derived from modern biotechnology." In essence, these participants are officials involved in implementation of biotech regulations and they need information to build a "realistic foundation in the production and grain handling system of the United States and advancements in biotechnology to open and expand markets around the world."
Darrel McAlexander, USGC advisory team leader for biotechnology, said this conference will not only update regulators on the research and advancements in biotechnology taking place in the United States, but will hopefully address any issues pertaining to biotechnology regulatory processes. He said this conference will afford these officials the opportunity to witness biotechnology at work by seeing the actual farming process take place, including a visit to a Missouri corn producer's operation.
The event gets support from the following groups: Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Iowa Corn Promotion Board, National Corn Growers Association, Syngenta and USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, Bunge North America, Inc., Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Monsanto Company and POET Biorefining.