Stabenow, soy industry praise Biden exec order on biotech, bio manufacturing
President Biden on Monday signed an executive order to launch a national biotechnology and biomanufacturing initiative.
“The initiative will drive federal investments in areas that will define U.S. biotechnology leadership and our economic competitiveness in the coming decades,” a White House official told reporters in a call on Sunday. “And this initiative will make the United States more prosperous and our planet more secure.”
“Living factories — cells — and biomass can be used to make almost anything that we use in our day-to-day lives, from medicines to fuels to plastics. And this allows the U.S. to leverage innovation — this innovation — to strengthen our economy and society,” the official added.
“It will help bring bioproducts to market that will help support American farmers and reduce risk through biosecurity innovation, as well as enhance workforce training and education programs for the next generation of biotechnologists.
“The production of bio-based chemicals, including natural nitrogen fertilizers, can be used for agricultural applications that are extracted from pig manure and then can — that can be done with zero wastewater discharge or air emissions.
“On Wednesday, the White House will host a summit on the bioeconomy and biomanufacturing in which renewable fuels industry officials are expected to participate. We will announce new investments and resources across a wide range of agencies that will allow the United States to harness the full potential of biotechnology and biomanufacturing.”
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said, “In Michigan, our farmers grow things and make things. That’s why I included my Grow it Here, Make it Here Initiative in the 2014 farm bill, and that’s why I am enthused about President Biden’s National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative.”
“This means more jobs, more sustainable products, and a supply chain that’s more reliable and resilient because it doesn’t depend on foreign imports,” Stabenow said. “These critical investments will provide our farmers with the innovative biotechnology tools they need to be successful and competitive.”
American Soybean Association President Brad Doyle, a soybean grower from Arkansas, said, “This announcement puts in place steps that will help our industry continue to use soybeans to develop innovative, sustainable products that can help lower greenhouse gas emissions and create more jobs for not only agriculture but all Americans. We are also pleased to see included measures that support agricultural biotechnology regulatory reform, along with quite a few other provisions.”
Doyle said the soybean industry particularly appreciates the following items in the executive order:
▪ A report from USDA on leveraging the bioeconomy for “improving sustainability and land conservation; increasing food quality and nutrition; increasing and protecting agricultural yields; protecting against plant and animal pests and diseases; and cultivating alternative food sources.”
▪ The Data for the Bioeconomy Initiative, which will use data to drive breakthroughs in the bioeconomy.
▪ Various agencies taking steps to expand domestic biomanufacturing and biobased product manufacturing.
▪ An emphasis on federal agency procurement of biobased products, overseen by USDA.
▪ A requirement to create a lexicon for the bioeconomy to help measure the size and impact of the bioeconomy, and a focus on making revisions to the North American Industry Classification System and the North American Product Classification System.
▪ A focus throughout on protecting and enhancing the security of physical infrastructure, biosecurity/biological data, and cyber-security.
▪ Guidance directing USDA, EPA, and FDA to identify areas of ambiguity, gaps, or uncertainties in the federal agricultural biotechnology coordinated framework within 100 days.
▪ A call for, within 280 days, developing a plan for regulatory reform for the areas requiring clarification or improvement in the federal agricultural biotechnology coordinated framework.
▪ A requirement that annual reports be developed for three additional years providing progress reports on agricultural biotechnology regulatory modernization efforts.
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