Food & Agriculture

Genetic engineering is the direct manipulation of an organism's genes. Genetic engineering is different from traditional breeding, where the organism's genes are manipulated indirectly.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on August 26 that it will convene its Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee (VMAC) to consider an application by BIO member AquaBounty technologies for its genetically engineered (GE) AquAdvantage Salmon.

Genetic engineering of agricultural animals could be one of the most interesting and promising fields of biotechnology.

GE animals are being developed to transform and improve public health.

As the use of agricultural biotechnology increases globally, people need information about food production that is truthful, so they can form opinions based on facts, not fear.

To help better inform and educate consumers - we have gathered important findings from across the scientific community about biotechnology and food safety.

A report on the benefits for health care, nutrition, the environment, and animal welfare.

“I’ve never been a farmer,” Bill Gates confessed at The Chicago Council’s Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security. “Until recently, I rarely set foot on a farm.”

All programs at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing are open to attendance by members of the media. Complimentary media registration is available to editors and reporters with valid press credentials working full time for print, broadcast or web publications.

Despite the fact that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack believes that the regulation of genetically engineered agricultural products must be science-based, and that he has “no doubts about the safety of the products this system has approved and will continue to approve,” some state legislatures are considering bills requiring labeling for biotech-derived food. These bills defy existing science-based regulation and are wholly unnecessary.

You might have heard that the Prince of Wales, just days after hosting the Royal Wedding, paid us a visit here in Washington.  Prince Charles, a long-time organic food advocate and self-described environmentalist, was here to speak at a Washington Post symposium on the Future of Food.

Prince Charles likes to talk about “sustainability” so much that he used a version of the word 32 times in his recent speech about farming at Georgetown University.

The world’s largest biotech hubs are busy planning their delegations’ visits to the  BIO International Convention  next month. The international program at the Convention will be one of the most robust to date, with International Case Studies, breakout sessions focused on globalization and Super Sessions focused on the emerging markets.

During today’s plenary lunch session at BIO's 2011 World Congress in Toronto, Royal DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma gave a passionate keynote address and accepted the 2011 George Washington Carver Award for his company’s efforts to promote bio-based products over those relying on fossil-fuel resources.

Letters, Testimony & Comments

October 27 2015
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is pleased to submit these comments in response to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) notice requesting public input on proposed changes to requirements for field testing of regulated genetically engineered (GE) wheat (Notice). BIO is the world's largest trade association, representing more than 950 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products, and BIO represents the majority of the biotechnology product developers in North America, including companies conducting field trials of GE wheat.
September 10 2015
The U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance greatly appreciates your efforts to elevate the U.S.- China dialogue on agricultural innovation. Your engagement with President Xi Jinping at the 2014 APEC Summit established a strong foundation on which to build a robust, mutually beneficial, long-term dialogue on cooperation as it relates to agricultural innovation, including global food security, climate unpredictability and rural economic growth. In this regard, we ask that practical, trade facilitating measures to ensure increased Chinese access to the products of U.S. agriculture be a priority for your upcoming meeting with President Xi.  
September 4 2015
Now more than ever, American agriculture needs your continued engagement with China’s President Xi Jinping on agricultural innovation and trade. The undersigned organizations embrace innovation to continue reliably supplying our valued customers in China and in other markets around the world. Sustainably meeting the challenges of global food security is important not only for China, but for all countries, and requires access to innovation and to markets. For these reasons, we ask you to make securing positive action on pending biotechnology issues a priority when you meet with President Xi in Washington, D.C. later this month. 
April 29 2015
We are writing on behalf of the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food about a significant development that could impact American consumers, businesses, farmers and food manufacturers. At a time when legislative consensus is hard to come by, it is notable that substantial bipartisan support is building behind a national, voluntary food labeling standard for products containing ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
April 28 2015
Dear Commissioner Andriukaitis, On March 12, 2015 the undersigned organizations, representing a broad section of the U.S. food and agricultural industry, provided comments on the review of the European Union's (EU) regulatory procedure for approving the import of new biotechnology products being conducted by DG SANTE. In our letter we stated that a number of core principles and commitments must result from this review (see attachment).

Press Releases

November 23 2015
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially announced that it has rejected petitions from public interest groups calling for mandatory labeling of foods produced with genetic engineering.
November 19 2015
After conducting a thorough and rigorous regulatory review, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the genetically engineered (GE) AquAdvantage® Salmon for commercial marketing.
October 21 2015
Washington, D.C. (October 21, 2015) – “Over the past twenty years, agriculture biotechnology has become a valuable tool in ensuring the success of the American farmer in meeting the challenge of increasing yield in a more efficient, safe, and responsible manner,” said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee at a hearing today.
August 26 2015
Today, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced that long-time agriculture policy expert Brian T. Baenig will be joining BIO as Executive Vice President, Food & Agriculture Section.
July 23 2015
Washington, D.C. (July 23, 2015) – In bipartisan action today in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599) was passed by a vote of 275 to 150.  The bill provides a national, consumer-friendly approach to the labeling of foods made with or without genetically modified organisms (GMOs).