Yesterday we heard from US Senator Richard Burr on the federal government’s role in promoting and fostering biotechnology primarily for food crops. The US government’s financial woes are well known, and money for creating or expanding programs will be hard-fought, and likely lost, Burr reiterates that progress in the biotech field will rely on private sector collaborations. And all of this is working towards creating food security, not only in the US but around the world:
“There is a lot of the world that would like to develop today, that investment will be made, but a middle class will not be created without food security. Without the assurance that they are self sufficient.”
The US is generally considered a leader in biotechnology, especially when it comes to food production, but most of the European continent has trade restrictions against GMO products, and Burr says that’s a big issue in advancing biotech and eliminating trade barriers:
“I believe that we need to start in Washington by negotiating trade agreements with people that are willing to open their markets to our products and the technologies that we are refining. Most of these companies are headquartered in Europe but Europe’s policies seem to be what pulls down the rest of the world at advancing with the progress of the human mind.”
Therefore, according to Burr, that’s why federal policies supporting biotechnology is so important:
“That’s why as I talk about US policy, this goes 360 degrees. We have to make sure that the framework is in place from a policy standpoint to provide the incentive to make that human investment. We have to make sure the policies are in place to encourage that innovation. And we have to make sure that the policies are in place that give those industries the assurance that we will negotiate to open up those markets.”
US Senator Richard Burr from North Carolina speaking at the Ag Biotech Summit in Raleigh.
For more from the Summit, Click here.