Oct 26, 2021Ag committee holds hearing on biotechnology, supported by NPC
The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on agricultural biotechnology on Oct. 26.
About two dozen ag-focused groups signed a letter in support of this hearing, including the National Potato Council, thanking the committee for its attention in furthering agricultural science and techniques.
“We believe this technology already has and will continue to play an important role in addressing many challenges facing our society. Historically, plant breeding has helped growers reduce their input needs and protect crops from devastating pests. In the last few decades, biotechnology has helped growers of certain crops, such as corn, soy, cotton and sugar beets, even further, by facilitating adoption of vital conservation practices. Looking ahead, advancement in breeding innovation, such as genome editing, can play an even greater role in addressing countless issues in a broader variety of products, like specialty crops, cover crops and livestock,” the letter stated.
Witnesses for the hearing included Fan-Li Chou of the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), Elena Rice of Genus PLC, a genetics manufacturing firm, Jack Bobo of media firm Futurity, and Jon Oatley, an associate dean professor of molecular biosciences and director of the Functional Genetics Initiative at Washington State University.
Besides the National Potato Council, other letter signees included the American Farm Bureau Federation, ASTA, the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers and Crop Science Society of America.