These are the archived videos of the presentations, discussions, and public comment periods from the public meeting of the committee on December 10, 2014.

View Agenda

Meeting Recap: This Storify collects the tweets and online discussion that took place at the meeting.

Click the links below to view videos of the presentations and discussions.

Welcome: Fred Gould, Committee Chair, University Distinguished Professor of Entomology and Codirector of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center, North Carolina State University

Study Process of the National Research Council: Kara Laney, Study Director, National Research Council

Committee Introductions

Session One:

Michael Schechtman, Biotechnology Coordinator, Office of Pest Management Policy, U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service. bio

Dr. Michael Schechtman is the biotechnology coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, Office of Pest Management Policy, working as a biotechnology advisor with the office of the Secretary of Agriculture. He is the executive secretary of USDA’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, which has considered the long-term implications of biotechnology for agriculture and USDA and has offered recommendations to USDA on strengthening coexistence among different agricultural production systems in the United States. He was previously in the biotechnology unit at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at USDA, working on regulatory policy coordination and development regarding organisms produced through biotechnology, both domestically and internationally. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Biosafety Protocol negotiations under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Dr. Schechtman received a BA from Harvard University in biochemical sciences and a PhD in molecular miology from Cornell University, did postdoctoral work in the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, and was formerly a member of the biology faculty at Syracuse University.

Statement from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (delivered by Kara Laney)
Dan Voytas, Professor of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development and Director, University of Minnesota Center for Genome Engineering. bio

Dr. Dan Voytas is a professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at the University of Minnesota (UMN) and the director of the UMN’s Center for Genome Engineering. He graduated from Harvard College in 1984 and received his PhD in genetics from Harvard Medical School in 1990. Dr. Voytas conducted postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he was a fellow of the Life Science Research Foundation. In 1992, Dr. Voytas joined the faculty at Iowa State University. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1997 and to Professor in 2001. In 2008, he joined the faculty at the UMN. Dr. Voytas advises agricultural biotechnology companies on the use of new methods of genome engineering for crop improvement and serves as Chief Science Officer for Cellectis Plant Sciences. Dr. Voytas is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Andreas Weber, Head of the Institute of Plant Biochemistry, University of Düsseldorf. bio

Dr. Andreas Weber is a professor at and the head of the Institute of Plant Biochemistry at the University of Düsseldorf. His research interests include the physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology of solute transport in plant cells; compartmentalization of metabolic pathways and metabolic networks; photorespiration; C4 photosynthesis; extremophilic eukaryotes; ‘omics technologies and synthetic experimental evolution; and synthetic biology. Dr. Weber is co-editor of the journals Plant, Cell & Environment, Plant and Cell Physiology, Journal of Experimental Botany, Frontiers in Plant Science, and Plant Biology and chairperson of physiology and molecular biology for the German Botanical Society. From 1996 to 2002 he was a research associate with the Botanical Institute of Cologne. He was an associate professor of plant biology at Michigan State University from 2002 to 2007. Dr. Weber received his doctorate in plant biology from the University of Würzburg.

Committee Discussion with Presenters

Session Two:

John Turner, Director, Environmental Risk Analysis Programs, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture–Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. bio

Dr. John Turner is the director of Environmental Risk Analysis Programs at Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) within the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. He provides leadership to the scientists who perform the risk assessments and prepare the environmental analyses related to the issuance of permits, acknowledgment of notifications, and the de-regulation genetically engineered organisms. At BRS he has also served as the director of policy coordination and worked as a biotechnologist. Prior to coming to USDA, he worked at Crop Genetics International (CGI), a pioneering U.S. biotechnology company which in the 1980s began using the newly available tools of genetic engineering to develop microbial pesticides for agriculture. He held various positions in research and management at CGI and was a key member of a research team that conducted some of the earliest field tests of genetically engineered organisms in the United States. Dr. Turner received BS and MS degrees from the University of Georgia and a PhD in plant pathology from Auburn University.

William L. Jordan, Deputy Director for Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency– Office of Pesticide Programs. bio

William L. Jordan currently serves as the Deputy Director for Programs in EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). He works on a wide variety of cross-cutting science and policy issues in areas such as food safety, protections for subjects in human research, pesticide labeling, endangered species protection, and nanotechnology. Mr. Jordan has worked in OPP since 1988, where he played a major role in the development of the legislation which became the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. He was responsible for coordinating the development of documents describing major science policies EPA applies in implementing this law. In addition, he has been involved in many diverse policy and regulatory actions affecting pesticides, from the implementation of the worker protection standard to trade policy to data requirement regulations. He has served throughout OPP as Director of the Policy and Special Projects Staff, acting Director of the Field Operations Division, Associate Director of the Antimicrobials Division, and Senior Policy Adviser. Prior to OPP, Mr. Jordan worked in EPA’s Office of General Counsel on pesticide and water program activities. He was also a staff member of the President’s Council for a National Agenda for the Eighties. He has a law degree from Georgetown University and an undergraduate degree from Princeton University.

Chris A. Wozniak, Biotechnology Special Assistant, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency–Office of Pesticide Programs. bio

Dr. Chris Wozniak joined the U.S. EPA as Biotechnology Special Assistant in the Office of Pesticide Programs in 2008, focusing on issues of biotechnology policy, interagency coordination of biotech regulation, and environmental risk assessment of plant-incorporated protectants. Gene flow and introgression of transgenes into wild plant populations are key interests of Dr. Wozniak. Prior to working in this capacity, he served as the National Program Leader for Food Biotechnology and Microbiology at the USDA’s Cooperative States Research, Education and Extension Service and co-directed the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grants program from 2004 to 2008. He has also worked for the EPA previously as a risk assessor of microbial and plant-based pesticides (1997–2004) and conducted research on biological control of the sugarbeet root maggot while working for the USDA– Agricultural Research Service (1988–1997). Dr. Wozniak’s training is primarily in plant pathology and plant biochemistry. He is an avid mushroom hunter and collector of wild fruits for jelly, jam, and syrup making.

Jason Dietz, Policy Analyst, Office of Food Additive Safety, Food and Drug Administration–Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. bio

Jason Dietz coordinates cross-cutting biotechnology-related activities in the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. In this role he regularly provides technical and policy input regarding plant biotechnology issues. Mr. Dietz has also served FDA as a consumer safety officer working on projects related to the safety of foods derived from genetically engineered organisms.

Committee Discussion with Presenters

Session Three:

Sandy Endicott, Senior Agronomy Manager, DuPont Pioneer. bio

Sandy Endicott has been with Pioneer for 25 years, starting as a Field Sales Agronomist in northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana. She joined Pioneer’s research team in 2004, moving to Hawaii to manage the agronomy program at Pioneer’s research centers in Waimea on the island of Kauai and Kunia on the island of Oahu. Ms. Endicott then joined Pioneer’s International Agronomy Team in 2008 and has traveled to countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and to China learning about farming and corn production as part of her role. Ms. Endicott grew up on a grain and poultry farm in northwest Ohio where her family raised corn, parent soybean and wheat seed, sugarbeets, and alfalfa along with over 6,000 laying hens. She currently has a small farm in Ohio that produces corn, soybeans, and wheat and a small farm in Iowa that is in grass hay. Ms. Endicott received her BS and MS degrees from The Ohio State University in agronomy and weed science.

Ray Shillito, Research and Development Fellow, Bayer CropScience Impact on Production Agriculture. bio

Dr. Ray Shillito has been involved in agricultural biotechnology for more than 30 years. He began his career with a PhD in botany in England and studied agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer during his first post-doc position in the Netherlands. From there he joined the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland, where he did seminal work on gene transfer to plant cells until 1986. That year he moved to North Carolina where he has worked ever since. He is presently a Research and Development Fellow at Bayer CropScience. His experience encompasses many of the steps involved in biotechnology, from producing transgenic plants to regulatory studies and field trials and working on sampling and analytics in plants, seed, and grain. Ray has interacted with academic and
government scientists for many years. He is an active member of several scientific societies, leads U.S. representation in an ISO committee and chaired the International Life Sciences Institute’s International Biotechnology committee from 2005 to 2008. In this latter role, he was involved in many studies of safety assessment of GE crops and in workshops held at the request of local governments in more than a dozen countries. Dr. Shillito has recently focused on the sampling and analyzing for the presence of GE seed and grain, particularly in the context of global trade.

Robb Fraley, Monsanto New Technologies. bio

Dr. Robert Fraley is executive vice president and chief technology officer at Monsanto. He has been with the company for more than 30 years and currently oversees the company’s global technology division which includes plant breeding, plant biotechnology, ag biologicals, ag microbials, precision agriculture, and crop protection. Dr. Fraley is recognized as the father of agricultural biotechnology and has been involved in ag research since the early 1980s. He has authored more than 100 publications and patent applications. Dr. Fraley’s discoveries and applications of science are also routinely recognized for the tremendous impact they’ve had in supporting farmers and the agriculture demands of our planet. Dr. Fraley’s honors include: a World Food Prize Laureate (2013), the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton (1999), and the National Academy of Sciences Award for the Industrial Application of Science for his work on crop improvement (2008), among other recognitions. Dr. Fraley’s educational background includes a fellowship from the University of California, San Francisco, a PhD in microbiology/biochemistry from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois.

Steve Webb, External Technology and Intellectual Property Portfolio Development Leader, Dow AgroSciences. bio

Dr. Steve Webb began his career with Dow AgroSciences (DAS) in 1996 with Crop Protection Research and Development in Canada. He was a member of the team that created and launched the Nexera™ Omega-9 canola business. In 2000, Dr. Webb joined DAS in Indianapolis as a biochemist in Input Traits Discovery, then took a commercial assignment in 2001, where he was responsible for assessing the animal nutrition, animal health, and healthy oils concepts. In 2004, he returned to discovery research and has since held leadership positions in the Animal Health Platform, Cell Biology, and Advanced Technology Development. Throughout his career, Dr. Webb has been actively involved in identifying, establishing, and leading several external collaborations with universities, public research institutes, and commercial companies. Since 2009, he has led Advanced Technology Discovery, including the effort to develop and deploy the EXZACT™ Precision Platform Technologies in corn, soybean, canola, and wheat. As Research Committee Leader, he also represents DAS on several major external collaborations, including the Victorian Department of Environment, Primary Industries Australia, Fraunhofer IME Germany, and the National Research Council of Canada. Dr. Webb earned his bachelor of science degree in microbiology from the University of Guelph in 1990. In 1992, he earned a master’s in biochemistry, then a PhD in immunochemistry in 1998, also from the University of Guelph.

Committee Discussion with Presenters

Public Comment

Follow Us