(Posted Mon. Jul 28th, 2014)
Last week, the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance’s Domestic Working Group met in Washington to jointly review task force reports focused on four areas necessary to develop an industry-wide protocol for the introduction of new biotechnology traits.
During the meeting, representatives from all parts of the value chain worked together to assess findings on risk assessment, management, mitigation and responsibility. While the task force reports provided valuable insight, there was generally agreement that all parties will need to work together on a comprehensive approach in order to create a formula that will be acceptable to all parties.
Discussions, while spirited, did result in some fundamental agreements on the next steps forward. In the coming weeks, the Domestic Working Group leadership will generate a hypothetical situation and plan from which the full group will work moving forward.
“We will need to change our approach to reach an agreement, but I remain optimistic that we can have a final proposal to the industry as a whole by the December plenary session,” said National Corn Growers Association Director of Biotechnology and Economic Analysis Nathan Fields.
Established under a memorandum of understanding signed in 2012, the USBCA already has developed, and is working to implement, consensus positions on key policy issues designed to improve the introduction, stewardship, domestic and international regulatory policy, and distribution in U.S. and export markets of commodities and processed products containing or derived from modern biotechnology.
The USBCA’s founding organizations are the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, American Seed Trade Association, Biotechnology Industry Organization, National Grain and Feed Association, and North American Export Grain Association. Other national organizations that subsequently have become participants in the USBCA include American Farm Bureau Federation, Corn Refiners Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Oilseed Processors Association, North American Millers’ Association, United Sorghum Checkoff Program, U.S. Canola Association, U.S. Grains Council and U.S. Soybean Export Council.