Agricultural biotechnology hot topic at ASTA corn & sorghum and soybean seed research conferences

What are the effects of genetic advances in corn, sorghum, and soybeans on the seed and food industries? What are forthcoming crop applications of modern biotechnology? What is the European perspective on biotech crops? How reliable are tests used to detect biotech material in seed? These and other key questions about biotech crops will be addressed at the American Seed Trade Associations (ASTAs) Corn & Sorghum and Soybean Seed Research Conferences on Wed.-Fri., Dec. 6-8, 2000 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

The Soybean Seed Research Conference on Dec. 6 (1-2:15 PM) will feature presentations on the public soybean genome project by Randy Shoemaker, Ph.D., associate professor of agronomy at Iowa State University, and enhanced soybean oil composition in terms of nutrition and shelf life by Robert Reeves, president of the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils.

Dec. 7 (8-10:40 AM) will feature a joint soybean and corn & sorghum session on the science and U.S. regulation of biotech crops by Stanley Abramson, chair of the environmental group at Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, PLLC, and the European perspective on biotechnology by Pierre Deloffre of Bonduelle, a French vegetable product manufacturer. Abramson will give an overview of the U.S. regulatory framework for biotech foods, summarize the National Academy of Sciences report on genetically modified pest-protected plants, and discuss current events related to Bacillus thurigiensis (Bt) crops.

Modern biotechnology will be center stage at the Corn & Sorghum Seed Research Conference on Dec. 8 (8-10:40 AM). Topics will include bioinformaticsthe composition and analysis of data about plant genetic structures, evaluation of tests that detect biotech material in non-biotech seed or food, consumer and policy issues, and the use of biotechnology to improve corn genetics, the purity of corn hybrids, and corn starch content. The latter applications will be discussed by Major Goodman, Ph.D., corn geneti

Contact: Angela Dansby
202-638-3128 X31
American Seed Trade Association

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