The Livestock Biotech Summit is Coming!

Don’t miss your chance to get the special early-bird registration rate for the 2010 Livestock Biotech SummitRegistration is now open, and our early-bird discounts will expire on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time.

 The first-ever Summit of its kind, scheduled for September 28-30, in Sioux Falls, S.D., will provide participants three days of cross-cutting discussions among industry, academic and government leaders.

Program highlights include:

-A unique workshop tailored specifically to the care of agricultural animals in research as well as an interactive presentation on the newly revised Ag Guide.

– Lively sessions focused on genetically engineered animals and around such topics as real life case studies of products weaving their way through the regulatory process, food and biomedical applications, and funding opportunities for animal biotechnology research.

– W.R. Gomes, Ph.D., Vice President Emeritus of the University of California, will speak on developing global solutions through animal biotechnology.  Gomes recently retired from the University of California, where he served as Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the university-wide system, Director of the California Agricultural Experiment Station, and Director of California Cooperative Extension. 

Bruce Knight, Principal and Founder of Strategic Conservation Solutions, will give an overview of animal agriculture focusing on the increasing importance of animal care.  Formerly the Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at USDA and Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Knight is a nationally recognized expert on conservation, agriculture, and the environment.  He is currently a consultant focused on conservation and environmental issues related to agriculture.

– Dr. John McGlone of Texas Tech University will be coordinating the workshop on the care and use of livestock in biomedical and agricultural research.  Dr. McGlone speaks globally on topics of animal welfare, sustainable animal production, animal behavior, stress physiology and humane animal care.

– Panels of experts speaking on the “Case Study on the First Success Story on the U.S. Road to Regulatory Approval”, the “BIO GE Stewardship Program”, “New Products in the Pipeline”, “Funding Research on GE Animals”, and “Challenges for the Future”. 

BIO’s first-ever Livestock Biotech Summit is co-sponsored by: AAALAC International; Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Animal Care – USDA; Exemplar Genetics, Hematech, Inc.; Sigma-Aldrich; South Dakota Biotech Association; South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development; South Dakota State University; Trans Ova Genetics; University of Illinois; and ViaGen, Inc. 

For more information on the Livestock Biotech Summit – including updated program information and registration instructions – go to www.bio.org/livestockbiotechsummit, or contact David Edwards, BIO’s Director of Animal Biotechnology, at dedwards@bio.org.

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On GE Animals, Taking Initiative through Guidance on Stewardship

BIO hosted a successful special session on August 20th where the first public presentation was made of the BIO Guidance on Genetically Engineered (GE) Animal Stewardship with 100 international scientists and government officials in the audience of the 7th Transgenic Animal Conference, Tahoe, Calif.

Why is a stewardship program important to those working in research and development with GE animals? Stewardship is the initiative and processes undertaken by product developers in industry, academia and other groups, to increase their control over and responsibility for the conduct of practices.

Today’s landscape for GE animal technology includes many issues that drive public confidence and acceptance. These include the continuing “GMO” debates, the animal welfare concerns about GE technology, and concerns on ethics, social, religious issues. But the landscape also includes cutting edge science, strong regulatory processes, and best of all, the promise of compelling benefits of GE animals including advancing human health, enhancing food quality and safety, softer environmental footprint, enhanced animal health and welfare, and improving industrial products. By adopting a stewardship approach, we may minimize the negative issues and optimize the positive issues.

  • The mission of BIO’s Stewardship Initiative is to institute and promote guidelines for the development and use of GE animals, which promote good animal welfare and comply with current regulatory requirements. BIO Guidance is meant to be valuable to all who are conducting research and development of GE animals, ‘product developers’, including academia, industry and other organizations. The Guidance is meant to assist companies, universities, and the industry in developing and adopting their own stewardship principles. It will serve as a practical useful guidance; a one-stop shop.
  • The Guidance presents what is required to be done according to existing law and regulations, and it suggests other practices, dependent on animal species and application, that we should consider.
  • The Guidance addresses stewardship of GE animals through the life cycle of animals and animal products.
  • Module One, “Guidelines for Research and Development,” was presented.
  • Additional modules in the BIO Guidance will be developed in the future.

The feedback on BIO’s Guidance was excellent, with one leading expert in GE animal research stating, “it is timely and important to do this”. We had several positive compliments and constructive comments from domestic and international scientists and governments. Visit BIO’s web site soon to see the first Module.

The excitement at the Conference and the sophistication of the science (and the stewardship guidance!) being presented is terrific. This event serves as an excellent springboard for the new and novel BIO Livestock Biotech Summit to be held next year in late September, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It’s time to put that event on your calendar!

Scientists Enthusiastic About Potential for Genetically Engineered Animals

“We have the first approval in the United States – I see so many exciting things coming in the future from GE (genetically engineered) animals – now is our time” urged a scientist attending the 7th Transgenic Animal Research Conference in Tahoe, Calif., August 17-21. There are compelling benefits from the research and development of GE animals for society such as advancing human health, improving foods, enhancing animal welfare and reducing the environmental footprint of livestock production. What strikes me is that over 120 international scientists are convening to discuss the cutting edge science and research with GE animals. And there is tremendous enthusiasm that I witnessed last evening during the opening reception.

The field of GE animals scientifically is embraced and active world-wide. There are speakers here from all over the world: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.

BIO is excited to be sponsoring this meeting and to have a unique opportunity to bridge the alliance within the entire Industry. We want to seek unity of purpose and strength toward equivalency in science policy and regulations world-wide. BIO is presenting here in Tahoe for the first time its “BIO Guidance for Genetically Engineered Animal Stewardship.” The Guidance is meant to provide guidelines for all product developers of GE animals – in academia, government institutions and in academic institutions. We are thrilled with this opportunity to receive comment and feedback.

This conference with its focus on research is an excellent complement to BIO’s new “Livestock Biotech Summit” being planned for late September 2010 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. More to come as the week unfolds!