On Monday, I'll be speaking at a Capitol Hill event sponsored by Americans for Choice and Competition in Agriculture, which also goes by the name of AgChoice: "Feeding the World & Growing Our Economy: Agricultural Innovation in the 21st Century."
The global population reached seven billion people on October 31, 2011, and is expected to reach nine billion by 2050. In order to meet the challenge of feeding this growing population, agricultural output must double and food production must increase by 70 percent by mid-century.
Despite a weak global economy, the demand for U.S. agricultural exports is growing and has increased 45 percent in the last five years. Leadership from the U.S. agricultural industry will play an important role in addressing these challenges, but only if policies that encourage increased innovation are adopted. Join Americans for Choice and Competition in Agriculture and other thought leaders to discuss the agricultural challenges that lie ahead in the 21st century including how innovation will play a key role and what policies need to be developed in order to encourage ongoing innovation in agriculture.
Dr. Roger Beachy, Founding President, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Brandon Hunnicutt, Chairman, Nebraska Corn Growers Association
Gregory Conko, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Chandler Goule, Vice President of Government Relations, National Farmers Union
11:45 A.M. – 1:30 P.M.
1302 Longworth House Office Building
One of the topics I'll be addressing is the way in which precautionary U.S. and foreign regulation of food biotechnology has made it more difficult for scientists to develop, breed, and sell innovative new crop varieties that increase agricultural productivity and lighten farming's environmental footprint.
Of particular interest to AgChoice and its farm industry members is the expiration of several patents on some of the most widely grown biotech crops -- particularly RoundUp Ready soybeans. But silly and unnecessary regulations in Europe and parts of Asia may prevent a generic biotech seed industry from developing.
Come see the event to find out how.