In an effort to address the regulatory issues surrounding new agricultural biotech products, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is sponsoring the Second Generation Ag Biotech Conference March 15 in Washington, D.C.

Despite the success and increasing adoption of biotech crops, opposition and questions remain regarding how new innovations will be regulated in the future. Many of those questions and concerns will likely be directed at the "second generation" of biotech products, which will introduce output traits with industrial characteristics, according to Nathan Danielson, NCGA director of biotechnology.

"These traits and technologies will need oversight and the regulatory landscape is likely to become increasingly complex as new traits and new technologies enter the marketplace," Danielson said. "Both critics and proponents of agricultural biotechnology admit the system needs to evolve to address future challenges and opportunities."

Examples of future industrial characteristics include enzymes that will enhance ethanol and pharmaceutical production and technologies that allow rapid and precise integration of multiple genes.

Danielson said the conference will address the challenges these new technologies may pose to the regulatory system. The event will also serve as a forum for discussion on the specific challenges stakeholders will face in the future.

"We'll cover a wide spectrum of topics relating to second generation biotech products, ranging from how the United States will deal with biotech events produced in other countries to how we can balance the need for new technologies with the need to protect markets," he said.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. in the Altria offices. The conference will be followed by a reception. For more information or to register, contact Cathy Durham at 636/ 733-9004, ext. 144; or e-mail,

Source: Association Release