ASPB Backs LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act, Now Referred in Senate

On June 13, 2022, ASPB, together with 90 scientific organizations, signed a letter in support of the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act. The bill would require federal surveys to include data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity on a voluntary basis and ensure that lawmakers and federal agencies have the comprehensive data they need to … Read more

Policy Update – Department of Agriculture Releases Five-Year Science Blueprint

On February 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a new strategic document to steer future science activities for the Department through 2025.  The USDA Science Blueprint is intended to provide direction and focus as the agencies within USDA strive for a more coordinated scientific enterprise.  A primary goal of the document is the … Read more

Policy Update – Agencies Release Website for Biotechnology Regulation

Following the streamlining of biotechnology regulations in the fall of 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) have launched the “Unified Website for Biotechnology Regulation.”  This website comes as part of the Trump Administration’s broader effort to streamline the regulation of biotechnology that was kicked … Read more

Policy Update – DOE Releases Sustainable Bioenergy Crops Solicitation

On January 10, the Department of Energy (DOE) released its fifth funding call under the Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program, and the second for its Biological Sciences program.  The “Systems Biology Research to Advance Sustainable Bioenergy Crop Development” solicitation provides a total of $15 million in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and $75 million over … Read more

Policy Update – ASPB Nominee Named to BIO AC

Dr. C. Robertson “Rob” McClung, who served as ASPB President from 2007 to 2008, has been named as the newest member of the National Science Foundation’s Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO) Advisory Committee (AC).  Dr. McClung, currently a Professor of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College, was nominated by ASPB based on his expertise and leadership in … Read more

Policy Update – Administration Nominates National Science Foundation Director

The Administration has announced its nomination of Dr. Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, Executive Vice President at Arizona State University, to be the next Director of NSF following the pending conclusion of Dr. France Córdova’s term this spring.  By training, Dr. Panchanathan is an electrical and computer engineer.  Among several possible changes, Dr. Panchanathan’s nomination brings with … Read more

Election 2016

As we all know, the divisive 2016 presidential election elicited a broad range of emotions and opinions, including within the ASPB community. Ultimately, President-elect Trump achieved his victory with strong support from rural America, including communities and industries with which plant scientists are closely aligned. Clearly, plant science will continue to have an essential role … 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

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