Governors, Congress Support Biotech Industry

Published July 1, 2000

In June, Environment & Climate News reported a new $50 million effort launched by the biotechnology industry to educate the public about the advantages and safety of bioengineered products. Thirteen governors, Democrats and Republicans, have recently joined the pro-biotech effort, launching a Governors Biotechnology Partnership in May.

At a May 2 address to a National Press Club luncheon, Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-Iowa) announced the Partnership’s formation. “This Governors Biotechnology Partnership is designed to promote a public understanding and a better awareness of ag-biotech products, and the important role they will play in fulfilling and meeting the challenge of the 21st century of providing more food or nutritious food and doing so in away in which the environment is not threatened,” explained Vilsack.

Joining Vilsack as members of the new Gorvernor’s Partnership are Democrats Mel Carnahan (Missouri), Tom Carper (Delaware), Frank O’Bannon (Indiana), Jim Hunt (North Carolina), and Gary Locke (Washington), and Republicans Dirk Kempthorne (Idaho), John Engler (Michigan), Mike Johanns (Nebraska), Kenny Guinn (Nevada), Tommy Thompson (Wisconsin), George Ryan (Illinois), and Ed Schafer (North Dakota).

In Congress, a long-dormant bipartisan biotechnology caucus is again active. Its purpose is to educate members of Congress on the regulation of new biotech products, benefits of these new products, the hurdles small businesses encounter, and the promising new medicines as a result of biotechnology.

The House caucus is sponsored by Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R- Maryland), Thomas Ewing (R-Illinois), Calvin Dooley (D-California), and Lois Capps (D-California).


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The sponsors of the House biotechnology caucus can be reached by phone. Call Rep. Robert Ehrlich at 202/225-3061; Rep. Thomas Ewing 202/225-2371; Rep. Calvin Dooley 202/225-3341; and Rep. Lois Capps 202/225-3601.