USDA Names Agriculture Biotech Advisory Committee


A committee of 22 members will seek solutions for the coexistence of U.S. genetically modified and organic agriculture.

In light of growing concern around the open-air cultivation of genetically modified foods, USDA secretary Tom Vilsack has formally announced 22 members of the reinstated Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (also called AC21).

“This advisory committee will come together to continue investigating the challenges of coexistence among different forms of agricultural production,” said Vilsack. “I hope this committee will recommend workable solutions that will enhance the ability of all farmers to grow the crops they want in order to effectively meet the needs of their customers.”

The appointees are said to represent a range of interests, from the biotech, organic, and seed industries to medical professionals and members of state government. Appointees will serve one or two-year terms and may serve for up to six consecutive years.

The 22 members of AC21 are:

  • Russell C. Redding, interim dean of agriculture and environmental sciences at Delaware Valley College (Aspers, PA)

  • Isaura Andaluz, executive director of Cuatro Puertas (Albuquerque, NM)

  • Paul C. Anderson, executive director for international programs at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (St. Louis)

  • Laura L. Batcha, chief of policy and external relations at the Organic Trade Association (Putney, VT)

  • Charles M. Benbrook, chief scientist at The Organic Center (Enterprise, OR)

  • Barry R. Bushue, farmer and vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation and president of the Oregon Farm Bureau (Boring, OR)

  • Daryl D. Buss, dean of the school of veterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI)

  • Lynn E. Clarkson, farmer and president of Clarkson Grain Co. (Cerro Gordo, IL)

  • Leon C. Corzine, farmer from Assumption, IL

  • Michael S. Funk, chairman of United Natural Foods Inc. (Nevada City, CA)

  • Douglas C. Goehring, North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture

  • Melissa L. Hughes, corporate counsel and director of government affairs at CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley Family of Farms (Viroqua, WI)

  • Darrin Ihnen, farmer and chair of the National Corn Growers Association (Hurley, SD)

  • Gregory A. Jaffe, director of the Biotechnology Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (McLean, VA)

  • David W. Johnson, assistant director of research at Cal/West Seeds (La Crosse, WI)

  • Keith F. Kisling, farmer and chairman of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission (Burlington, OK)

  • Josephine O. Lewis, director of agricultural development at Arcadia Biosciences, (Davis, CA)

  • Mary-Howell R. Martens, farmer and manager of Lakeview Organic Grain LLC (Penn Yan, NY)

  • Marty D. Matlock, professor of ecological engineering at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AK)

  • Angela M. Olsen, senior advisor and associate general counsel for DuPont Co. and Pioneer Hi-Bred (Arlington, VA)

  • Jerome B. Slocum, farmer and president of North Mississippi Grain Co. (Coldwater, MS)

  • Latresia A. Wilson, farmer, physician, and vice president of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, Florida Chapter (Ocala, FL)
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