Policy Update: NSF Big Ideas for Future Investment

The National Science Board (NSB) met on August 9 and 10, 2016, under its new leadership of Maria Zuber (MIT) as Chair and Diane Souvaine (Tufts University) as Vice-Chair.  During the meeting, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Director, France Córdova and a number of Assistant Directors presented an update on the ten “big ideas” for … Read more

National Academies issue report, “Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects”

The National Academies (the collected group of the National Academies of Medicine, Engineering and Sciences) are an independent body that provides advice to the government, but does not hold law-making powers.  The National Academies recently released a report, “Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects”. The report was commissioned to examine the evidence behind some of … Read more

Plant scientists: GM technology a safe tool to help meet food supply demands Washington, DC

More than 1,000 scientists from nonprofit, corporate, academic, and private institutions say public doubts about genetically modified food crops are hindering the next Green Revolution. In a letter published in the journal Science, six researchers from three institutions explain their recent petition in support of science-based criteria in guiding the safe and effective employment of … Read more

Analysis of the President’s FY 2017 Budget Request

President Obama released the last budget request of his Administration on February 9th. The budget proposal nominally adheres to the top defense and non-defense discretionary spending levels agreed to by Congress in the fall of last year. However, the White House is relying on mandatory spending, which requires Congress to pass legislation to make these … Read more

Analysis of the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Prepared by Lewis-Burke Associates LLC December 17, 2015 This week, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees concluded negotiations on an omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 2029) to fund federal government agencies for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2016. The final bill provides significant increases to federal investments in research, education, and healthcare programs important to … Read more

Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Annual Meeting Summary

I am your ASPB representative on CAST.  CAST is the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology and is a non-profit organization composed of scientific societies, many individuals, students, companies, nonprofits, and associate scientific and industry society members.  The primary work of CAST is to organize scientists to write papers on different important topics. CAST assembles, … Read more

Petition: Scientists in Support of GMO Technology for Crop Improvement

Dear  Colleagues, As you know, there is substantial fear of GMO technology both within commercial and public spheres. Recently, companies like Chipotle and initiatives such as the Non-GMO Project (representing over 4,500 non-GMO brands) have cited a petition of 300 scientists that claim there is no consensus regarding the scientific safety of GMOs. A group of scientists and myself have organized a petition … Read more

NYT Publishes ASPB Response to 10/24 Article on European GMO Policies

The New York Times published the following letter to the editor from ASPB on October 30, 2015.  ASPB’s letter was in response to the October 24th article by Mark Lynas, the political director for the Cornell Alliance for Science.  In his piece, Lynas laments that due to “Europe’s Coalition of the Ignorant, we are witnessing … Read more

Bring the voice of science to improve US biotechnology regulation

The White House Office has announced a major effort to update the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology and they are seeking comments to inform the revisions. Because the federal comment website can be cumbersome, we will collect your comments here and submit them on your behalf. Your comments will become part of the … Read more

Policy Update: FDA Announces RFI and Accompanying Public Meeting on Biotechnology

On October 16, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a Request for Information (RFI) on “Clarifying Current Roles and Responsibilities Described in the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology and Developing a Long-Term Strategy for the Regulation of the Products of Biotechnology” and announced a public meeting.  This is the next step in … Read more

Process Labeling of Food & Role of Scientific Engagement in Public Dialog on Food Science Seminar – Monday October 5th

ASPB is a co-sponsor of this seminar: Process food labeling, the role of social media in communicating about genetic engineering and implications for agricultural producers and consumers will be addressed at National C-FAR’s research seminar on Monday, October 5, offered at 10 a.m. in 328A Russell Senate Office Building and again at noon in 1300 … Read more

Everyone is Biased and Conflicted, Now What?

Critical discussion and debate is a powerful tool for honing scientific ideas and developing public policy.  Intellectual disagreements can be constructive even when people have starkly contrasting views.  However, too often in our internet and social media-fueled age, honest disagreements degrade into name calling, ad hominem attacks, threats and bullying.  When that happens, people are … Read more

White House Orders Review of GMO Regulations

On Thursday, July 2nd, 2015, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) ordered a review the regulatory policies for biotechnology products. ASPB welcomes this opportunity to engage both OSTP and the relevant federal agencies. The administration’s efforts, which will cover both agricultural and biomedical products, will seek to improve public confidence in the … Read more

Cornell Alliance for Science Petition – A letter to our community

The following letter was sent to our USA members in regards to the Cornell Alliance for Science petition. This issue is extremely important regarding transparency concerning publicly-funded research and scientific investigations. Please read below to help support the plant science and research community with this issue. On January 28th, 2015, 14 scientists from four universities were targeted … Read more

FOIAs Chilling a Scientific Dialog- Your Call to Communicate

One morning in early February I received an unusual email.  It was from my colleague here at University of Florida, Dr. David Oppenheimer.  It simply said, “FYI”, and was followed by a note from university General Counsel that email records were demanded back to 2012 under auspices of Florida Sunshine, or Freedom of Information Act … Read more

2015 Borlaug CAST Communication Award Winner: Dr. Channapatna S. Prakash

We are pleased to announce that our nominee, Channapatna Prakash of Tuskegee University, was named the 2015 Borlaug Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Communication Award for outstanding efforts using his research and communication skills to promote food production. The announcement was made this morning at a National Press Club event in Washington, DC. Borlaug … Read more

President’s Letter

Time to Speak Up It is an honor to be elected your new president and to work in support of our common goals. It has been a productive year as president-elect, and it is a pleasure to share timely thoughts with you here. No question: This is an exciting time to be a plant scientist. … Read more