Forum of Scientific Society Leaders on Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects- December 7, 2016, Registration Required

EPA, FDA, and USDA have commissioned an independent study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), an expert analysis of the future landscape of biotechnology products, to support the National Strategy for Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Biotechnology Products. Representatives of more than 12 scientific societies will meet to explore the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the report.

About the Expert Analysis

The committee has provided an independent and objective examination of the future products of biotechnology that includes:

  • Describing the major advances and the potential new types of biotechnology products likely to emerge over the next five to ten years;
  • Describing the existing risk analysis system for biotechnology products, including but not limited to risk analyses developed and used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and describing each agency’s authorities as they pertain to the products of biotechnology;
  • Determining whether potential future products could pose different types of risks relative to existing products and organisms (where appropriate, identifying areas in which the risks or lack of risks relating to the products of biotechnology are well understood); and
  • Indicating what scientific capabilities, tools, and expertise may be useful to the regulatory agencies to support oversight of potential future products of biotechnology.

All of the webinars for the NAS biotech study have been made public and are viewable here.

The Forum of Scientific Society Leaders on Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects will be held on December 7, 2016 at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, DC. Registration is required

Representatives of more than 12 scientific societies will meet to explore the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the report, Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects, which was released earlier this year.  The report has quickly become one of the most popular reports from the National Academies, having been downloaded more than 25,000 times since May. In addition to commenting on the reports’ conclusions and recommendations, panelists will explore how the report might be used in the societies’ academic education and public communication activities. The forum agenda is organized around several panels focused on different sections of the report presented by members of the study committee.


Forum of Scientific Society Leaders on Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects
December 7, 2016

National Academy of Sciences Building
Washington, DC

7:00 am – Breakfast

7:45 am – Welcome and Introductions
– Marcia K. McNutt, President, National Academy of Sciences

8:00 am – Opening Remarks
– Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary of USDA

8:20 am – Introduction to the Report – Why the study was needed & what the study sought to accomplish
– Fred Gould, NAS Member and Chairman, Committee on Genetically Engineered Crops

8:50 am – Human Health Effects of GE Crops – Report Findings
– Michael Gallo*, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (retired)

Moderated Panel: Moderator TBD
– American Society for Nutrition
– Society of Toxicology
– Society for Risk Analysis

9:35 am – Social and Economic Effects of GE Crops – Report Findings
– Jose Falck-Zapeda*, International Food Policy Research Institute
– Leland Glenna*, Pennsylvania State University

Moderated Panel: Elizabeth Ransom*, University of Richmond
– Rural Sociological Society
– Council on Food, Agriculture, and Resource Economics
– Society for the Study of Science in Society

10:35 am Break

10:55 am – Agronomic and Environmental Effects of GE Crops – Report Findings
– Kevin Pixley*, Maize & Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

Moderated Panel: Carol Mallory-Smith*, Oregon State University
– Society of Toxicology
– Ecological Society of America
– American Society of Agronomic Science
– Weed Science Society of America
– Crop Science Society of America
– Entomological Society of America

12:05 pm – Lunch

12:50 pm – Where is Genetic Engineering Going? – Report Findings
– Richard Dixon*, University of North Texas

The Promise of Next Generation Biotechnology – Report Findings
– C. Neal Stewart*, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Moderated Panel: Rick Amasino
– American Society for Plant Biology
– Phytochemical Society of North America
– Metabolomics Society
– American Phytopathological Society

2:15 pm – Break

2:30 pm – Future of Genetic-Engineering Regulation and Governance – Report Recommendations/Rational
– Michael Rodemeyer*, University of Virginia (formerly)

Moderated Panel: Daniel Magraw*, Johns Hopkins University
– Society for Risk Analysis
– Metabolomics Society
– Center for Science in the Public Interest
– Environmental Protection Agency
– USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
– Food and Drug Administration

3:30 pm – Using the Report for Communication, Education, and Dialogue
Moderated Panel: Fred Gould*, North Carolina State University
– All Society Leaders

4:30 pm – Final Remarks
– Chuck Rice, Chairman of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources


On March 18, 2016, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) announced the appointment of its provisional committee on “Future Biotechnology Products and Opportunities to Enhance Capabilities of the Biotechnology Regulatory System.”

The provisional committee members (biographies) are:

  • Richard Murray, California Institute of Technology;
  • Richard M. Amasino, University of Wisconsin, Madison;
  • Steven P. Bradbury, Iowa State University;
  • Barbara Evans, University of Houston Law Center;
  • Steven L. Evans, Dow AgroSciences;
  • Farren Isaacs, Yale University;
  • Martha Krebs, Pennsylvania State University;
  • Jennifer Kuzma, North Carolina State University;
  • Mary Maxon, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory;
  • Raul F. Medina, Texas A&M University;
  • David Rejeski, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars; and
  • Jeffrey Wolt, Iowa State University.
  • On March 30, the committee met at a public meeting with EPA, FDA, USDA, and OSTP representatives to review progress made on efforts to modernize the regulatory system for biotechnology products and  illustrate the current roles and responsibilities of EPA, FDA, and USDA regarding biotechnology products. There are two draft documents available that were the basis for discussion at the March 30 meeting: a document with eight case studies of hypothetical biotechnology products, and a table of oversight authorities related to biotechnology products.

To view the agenda, case studies, and other supporting documents, see below or Docket No. FDA-2015-N-3403.

American Science Alliance is a politically balanced, evidence-based, science and technology public policy organization that brings you transparency and insight into the federal science and technology funding process. Member benefits through Patreon are our way of providing exclusive, rewarding content to those who are making our work actively possible through pledges.

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