As we enter the second Green Revolution, when genetics and genomic technologies are providing a way to help food production keep pace with world population growth, Texas A&M AgriLife Research will host the North American Agricultural Biotechnology Council’s (NABC’s) 25th annual conference, on the Texas A&M University campus.
To be held June 4–6, NABC25, titled “Biotechnology and North American Specialty Crops: Linking Research, Regulation, and Stakeholders,” will bring together academic researchers, government officials, and industry leaders from throughout the United States and Canada to talk about the roles of genomic sciences, regulatory policy, and related topics in agricultural biotechnology. They hope to catalyze progress in — and realize new opportunities for — improving agriculture, especially as it relates to specialty crops, such as vegetables and fruits.
Genomic technologies are rapidly improving, becoming much faster and more efficient, even as costs decrease. Most scientists at public institutions are not currently considering further development of genetically modified crops for commercial use, even when new traits could make groundbreaking advancements in agricultural systems and improve human health. But this trend is changing. Several transgenic improvements in specialty crops are now moving toward commercialization because universities, industry, and regulatory agencies are working together. Through our diverse basic and applied research programs, AgriLife Research is leading the way toward the second Green Revolution by creating opportunities for collaborations that we believe will have the greatest positive impact on society.
Topics for NABC25 will include the following:
- An overview of specialty crops that are genetically modified and commercialized, including discussion of benefits, limitations, and concerns
- Current case studies of transgenic specialty crops and products that are being advanced through private, government, and public partnerships
- Presentations on the regulatory process, technology access, and intellectual property matters by representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, and Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and private and academic institutes
- Perspectives from multiple stakeholders, including consumers, producers, and distributors, related to risks and benefits, health, sustainability, and viability of genetically modified crops
Since its first meeting in 1989, NABC has grown to include more than 30 of the leading not-for-profit research and educational institutions in North America. NABC25 conference attendees will include farmers and growers, consumers, public-interest groups, and corporate, government, and academic representatives. The conference will be held at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center, George Bush Presidential Library. For more information about NABC25, visit the NABC25 Conference website.