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Indian Bt cotton failure; other ag. biotech news

(Friday, Oct. 22, 2004 -- CropChoice news) -- Please see the six pieces of ag. biotech related information below.

1. Bt cotton failure in India
2. Gene flow conference proceedings from Pew
3. GM seed legislation in Argentina
4. Majority support for EU GM task force
5. Philippines: Farmer's group urges ban on planting Bt corn; says it could be cause of illnesses
6. Passage of GMO ban in San Luis Obispo would encourage use of harsh pesticides says American Society of Plant Biologists

1. Bt Cotton Fails Yet Again: An Independent Assessment of Bt Cotton, after farmers facing severe losses went on a rampage in Warangal district

Centre for Sustainable Agriculture

Warangal, October 21 2004: Warangal has recently seen hundreds of outraged farmers going on a rampage and demanding just compensation for the failure of Bt Cotton that they had sown. The agitated farmers have staged a sit-in and damaged the shops. The District Collector has asked the company to visit the fields to estimate the losses and make arrangements to pay compensation. The Minister for Agriculture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, constituted fifty study teams to look into the failure and make recommendations.

To make an independent assessment, scientists from Centre from Sustainable Agriculture, Dr. Ramanjaneyulu and Mr. Ali, along with Mr. Sarampalli Malla Reddy, Secretary AP Rythu Sangam, Dr. Venugopal, Entomology Department, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Dr. Abdul Qayum, Consultant with MARI and DDS, Mr. Kiran Sakkari, Permaculture Association of India and Mr. Krishna Reddy, AP Rythu Sangam Warangal unit, visited villages in Geesukonda Mandal of Warangal district on 19th October, 2004. The following are the findings.

In Rattiram Tanda, a small hamlet of Kommala village, various Bt cotton hybrids are being grown in more than 100 acres. The villagers purchased the Bt cotton hybrids from Warangal market hoping to tackle the dreaded Bollworm. But shattering their hopes the Bt hybrids failed. Mr. Veeraswamy, has grown Bt MECH-12. The plants are small, with only few bolls. Insects are eating away the bolls, despite the so-called new technology. More than 30% of the plants in the field have dried up. When split open, wilt symptoms are clearly seen. The story is repeated with Ms. Vankloth Vijaya who grew Bt RCH-2 of Raasi seeds, or Vankloth Balaraju who grew Bt MECH-184. Till now farmers have spent around 8 thousand rupees on pesticides like Avaunt and Tracer besides Rs. 1600 on seeds. When the suffering farmers contacted the dealers, they were told that the dealers were not responsible and were asked to meet the scientists of the Agricultural Research Station, Warangal. The company team never visited and advised the farmers.

In Elukurthi Haveli, Mr. Yadava Reddy has grown Bt RCH-2. The crop has not performed as expected. The plants suffered wilt. The bolls are infested with bollworms.

In Konayamakula Mr. Narasinga Rao has grown Bt MECH-12 and has a similar experience to narrate.

The wilt symptoms in Bt cotton started appearing in the initial year itself. The company and the government had turned a deaf ear to the apprehensions raised by several investigating teams closely following the Bt cotton performance. The scientists said that the weather fluctuations have caused the damage. It is surprising to see that all other cotton hybrids in the neighboring fields are better, given the same weather conditions. What is more striking is that wherever gap filling was done with non-bt cotton hybrids, the plants are healthy. Monsanto-Mahyco has issued a press statement, following the agitation by the farmers that Bt cotton in several parts of the state had problems like cercospora leaf spot and pointed out that its Bt varieties are only resistant to bollworm and therefore, they are not responsible for the failure. All other hybrids failing in the state is a false statement put out by the company since this year is witnessing a bumper crop in cotton (even the government says so). For the farmer, a seed should be able to meet various requirements including yields and quality of cotton, while this expensive variety promises only bollworm resistance. Marketing of Bt Cotton by the company was also done by promising higher yields. Therefore, both on what the company had promised and on what it had not given to farmers, it had failed the struggling farmers of the state miserably.

On the other hand, in several villages where farmers adopted non-pesticidal management of insect pests, the crop is in very good condition and the successful experiences are already appearing in the media. Punukula in Khammam district is one such village where farmers are growing cotton (including popular hybrids) without resorting to pesticides. This is being done in more than 600 acres. In Warangal district also farmers in Jatok tanda, Gudi tanda, KK tanda etc. in Parvathagiri mandal as well as Nelapogula and Neermala villages in Jangaon, with the help of organisations like MARI and CROPS, are successfully using non-pesticidal options in their cotton cultivation. The cotton crop is in very good condition here too.

It is reported that Bt Cotton farmers in Warangal faced losses in majority of the areas where it is being grown. Similar is the case with farmers from others districts like Kurnool, Mahaboobnagar, Karimnagar, Adilabad and several other districts. Given that more than 2 lakh acres of Bt Cotton is reportedly sown in the state of Andhra Pradesh, the losses to the farmers are unimaginable. In Chinna Nekkonda village of Warangal district, a Bt cotton farmer has committed suicide yesterday and the distress is growing among the farmers. Before these unwanted incidents spread, the state government should:

  • intervene, assess the damage and make arrangements to immediately pay compensation to the Bt Cotton farmers
  • get the GEAC and the district level monitoring committees to gather field level data first hand instead of relying on the data being provided by the companies who have a stake in projecting a positive picture
  • hold the companies accountable for the damage caused
  • should stop the sale and cultivation of Bt Cotton in Andhra Pradesh given the continuous failed performance and increasing distress caused to farmers because of the technology
  • support non-pesticidal and non-GE alternatives immediately and scale up several positive experiences present across the state.

This preliminary investigation also pointed out that certain negative characteristics (like vulnerability to wilt) which are not present in the regular hybrid varieties (as witnessed from neighboring fields around Bt Cotton fields) have begun emerging in the Bt hybrids. This once again reinforces that approval for commercial cultivation has been given without comprehensive assessments.

This is the right time for the government to act – otherwise, there will be yet another big crisis in the farming community.

Bt Cotton fails yet again and meets the ire of farmers in Andhra Pradesh

(a summary of the events centred around Bt Cotton in the state of AP, compiled from media reports)

Hyderabad, October 20, 2004: Just days after the Commissioner, Agriculture in the Government of Andhra Pradesh made positive remarks about Bt Cotton in the state (October 4, 2004, The Hindu Business Line "Bt Cotton crop likely to create problem of plenty in AP"), farmers went on a rampage in Warangal district fearing that they might have been sold spurious seeds by the local traders. What has triggered the panic is the failure of Bt Cotton in yet another season…

Bt Cotton was given a three-year conditional clearance for commercial cultivation in six states of India in March 2002 (for the Bollguard Bt Cotton variety of Monsanto-Mahyco) and later in April 2004 (for the Raasi variety). Out of these three years, civil society and media reports as well as official reports in 2002-03 pointed to a serious failure of Bt Cotton in various parts of the country, including in various parts of Andhra Pradesh. In 2003-04 also, some NGOs which sustained their documentation efforts of Bt Cotton performance reported that it had failed cotton farmers a second year in a row. A study by AP Coalition in Defence of Diversity pointed out that 71 percent of farmers who cultivated Bt Cotton suffered losses while only 18 percent of the non-Bt farmers reported losses.

The 2004-05 season is nowhere near ending and the latest incidents in Warangal district point to the fact that the technology has failed yet again, third year in a row. Civil society has always been warning that after the hardships left by pesticides on cotton farmers, Bt Cotton as an alternative technology would only be the proverbial last straw. However, the government went ahead with its approvals, under pressure from the industry without assessing safer alternatives (like non-pesticidal management of crops) or assessing the new technology for all potential problems.

It is estimated that out of 160 thousand hectares sown in Warangal district with cotton, around 25 thousand hectares are under Bt Cotton (the sales of 450 gm packets of Bt Cotton touched the 25000 mark this year, as per media reports). Starting from 12th October, farmers started their protests across the district of Warangal where they raided shops and imprisoned seed company employees and are demanding compensation ranging from Rs. 10,000/- to Rs. 25,000/- per acre for the losses incurred.

On 12th October hundreds of farmers turned up on the streets of Warangal town where the seed and pesticide dealer shops are located. They were demanding at least ten thousand rupees per acre as compensation for the losses they incurred by growing Mech Bt 12 and Mech Bt 184 varieties. They raided Vasavi Fertilisers and Seeds shop, from which they had bought the expensive Bt Cotton seeds. The dealer tried to assure them that he would get the company officials to come to the villages and assess the damage, and get them to pay compensation if needed. The farmers were not ready to accept this. They staged a sit-in on the highway holding up a long chain of traffic. The farmers wanted the officials to visit their village and see the damage for themselves. A group of officials and the seeds dealer went to the village along with the farmers and checked the cotton crop there. Later, the Deputy Director of Agriculture, Warangal district assured the farmers that there would be an inquiry and after submitting the report to the government, any compensation to be paid would be arranged.

An assurance from the district officials that a wider field investigation would be taken up calmed the farmers. Following this, on Wednesday, agriculture department officials and Mahyco Company Area Manager and other officials went to Mogilicherla village where more than 500 acres of Bt Cotton had been sown. Here, the farmers like farmers in other parts of Warangal had spent Rs. 1650/- on procuring seeds (450 gms of Bollguard Bt Cotton – Mech Bt 12) and had sown the seed. They found that the crop grew well but did not flower well or yield more than ten bolls. Representatives of Mahyco company who had come to the village to inspect the fields by themselves were imprisoned by the farmers for more than three hours in the village, demanding immediate payment of compensation. The employees were freed when they assured the farmers that they would bring senior officials of the company to the village on the 14th.

On the 14th of October, hundreds of more farmers once again raided seed shops in Warangal town demanding compensation and accountability from the company, the dealers and the government. They came with Bt Cotton plants which did not yield either flowers or bolls on their fields. Farmers from various blocks like Atmakur, Sangem, Jafargad, Parvathagiri, Parakala, Geesukonda, Hanmakonda, Dharmasagar, Mogullapalli etc., soon joined the agitating farmers in huge numbers. They attacked the shop of Vasavi Seeds and Fertilisers, the supplier of Bollguard seeds to them. By this time, all the seed, pesticide and fertilizer dealers in Warangal town had closed their shutters down and ran away from the scene, fearing the wrath of the farmers. A Committee was formed with one representative each from each village, along with some local officials (who came to placate the farmers) to look into the matter by visiting the fields. After this, the farmers withdrew their protest for the day. The District Collector had meanwhile sent word to the company representatives to hear their explanation. The Collector is making preparations to send teams consisting of the company representatives, officials and the farmer representatives to all the villages from where reports of losses were obtained, as per media reports. Meanwhile all Bt Cotton farmers who have incurred losses due to the failure of crop have been asked to register their name and other details with the concerned agriculture department officials.

Even as this compilation of media reports was being prepared, there was news of a suicide committed by a Bt Cotton farmer in Warangal district who killed himself unable to bear the heavy losses incurred. Last year too saw a Bt Cotton farmer commit suicide. The disastrous story of pesticides looks all set to be repeated in the case of Bt Cotton too…

(all data collected from: The Hindu, The Hindu Business Line, Eenadu telugu daily Warangal edition, Vaartha telugu daily Warangal edition, Andhra Jyothi telugu daily Warangal edition on October 13, 14 and 15, 2004)

2. October 21, 2004
Gene Flow Conference Proceedings Posted by Pew Initiative

In late 2002, researchers reported traces of transgenic corn in Mexican maize. Because transgenic corn had been banned from Mexico, this announcement triggered an international debate about the science and public policies related to unintended gene flow.

To help address the many questions and concerns raised by this issue, the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology (PIFB) and the U.S.-Mexico Foundation for Science (FUMEC) held a two-day public conference in September 2003 in Mexico City, titled Gene Flow: What Does It Mean for Biodiversity and Centers of Origin? Proceedings from the conference are now available on the Pew Initiative website in both English and Spanish translations. Highlights include:

  • Opening remarks by Peter Raven, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, noted the importance of conserving biodiversity and suggested future introduction of additional kinds of transgenic maize should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Discussion in the first panel looked at the impact of agricultural practices and cultural barriers on the biodiversity of maize in Mexico, noting that causes other than gene flow (such as the fact more farmers are opting for urban jobs, changes in consumption patterns, and the use of other crops) must be considered when discussing genetic erosion.
  • The second panel examined the persistence of transgenes, exploring how the flow of genes from transgenics may have positive, neutral or negative impacts on the net fitness of plants.
  • Discussions on the second day of the conference included commentary from Víctor Villalobos, coordinator of international affairs with the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) in Mexico, who provided an overview of the Mexican Biosafety Regulatory System and Jose Sarukhan, a researcher with Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) and national coordinator of Comision Nacional para el Comocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO), who outlined three problems faced by those assessing the risks and benefits of transgenic gene flow.

To view the English proceedings, go to o http://pewagbiotech.org/events/0929/Proceedings-English.pdf .

For more information contact:
Kim Brooks, 202.347.9044 x230, kbrooks@pewagbiotech.org, or
Dan DiFonzo, 202.347.9044 x231, dandifonzo@pewagbiotech.org

# # #

The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research project whose goal is to inform the public and policymakers on issues about genetically modified food and agricultural biotechnology, including its importance, as well as concerns about it and its regulation. It is supported by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to the University of Richmond.

3. Legislation will be proposed to regulate commerce in genetically modified (GM) seeds Business Latin America via NewsEdge Corporation via GENE Watch :
Argentina is the second-largest producer of GM soya in the world, after the US, but only about 40% of farmers that plant Monsanto (US)-patented Roundup Ready (RR) soya seeds pay royalties. Monsanto recently said in newspaper advertorials it would resort to collecting royalties on Argentinian-grown soybeans at ports of destiny, a threat the Agriculture Secretariat deemed extortion. Following meetings with the authorities, Monsanto has agreed to take part in drafting new legislation to regulate the trade of GM seeds in the country.

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, 18 Oct 2004

4. Majority support for EU GM task force
via Food Navigator
20/10/2004 - Some 13 countries back a joint Danish-Italian drive to establish a European task force to ensure the co-existence of genetically modified crops and other crops.

At a council meeting of European agriculture ministers this week Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and the Netherlands all agreed with Denmark and Italyon the need to collect and disseminate information on GM crops at a European level.

Denmark and Italy, both traditional opponents of biotech foods, contend that the EU needs a special task force to assist member states in deciding how their farmers should separate conventional, organic and GM crops.

Identifying research requirements concerning co-existence should be done at a pan-European level, stated the member states, pointing to the need to set limit values for labelling GMOs in seeds, reports CORDIS.

The council stated that all 15 countries suggested: The decision by the Commission to include 17 genetically modified types of maize in the common catalogue of varieties should have been taken only once the Commission's report on experience with the Member States' implementation of the rules governing co-existence has been published.

According to the CORDIS report Franz Fischler, outgoing EU farm commissioner to be replaced when the new Commission team arrives in November under Barosso, welcomed the proposal to adopt a law on co-existence at national level and suggested creating a network between member states to exchange information.

5. Farmer's group urges ban on planting Bt corn; says it could be cause of illnesses Allen V. Estabillo / Mindanews / 19 October 2004

KORONADAL CITY -- A farmers' group has called for an immediate moratorium on the planting of the controversial Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) corn in the country as it raised fears that the genetically-engineered crop could be the cause of the illnesses afflicting several residents in at least two farming villages in Mindanao.

Francis Morales, advocacy officer for Mindanao of the Magsasaka at Siyentipiko Para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (Masipag), said they are investigating the "unusual illnesses" that downed residents of Barangay Tuka in Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat and of Barangay Kalapagan in San Mariano, Davao Oriental supposedly after eating and being exposed to Bt corn.

"This is very alarming because these two new cases clearly show that Bt corn is not safe for humans," Morales told MindaNews.

In San Mariano, he said the Social Action Center (SAC) of the Diocese of Mati reported that several residents of Barangay Kalapagan turned "yellowish" and became weak after allegedly eating grilled Bt corn sometime last month.

He said the SAC has submitted a report to the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

In Bagumbayan, Morales said more than a dozen farmers and residents of Barangay Tuka complained they fell ill two weeks ago after being exposed to the flowering Bt corn planted in their village.

"Some of them experienced nose bleeding, vomiting, fever and other flu-like symptoms," Morales said.

He said the symptoms were similar to those experienced two years ago by residents of Sitio Kalyong in Barangay Landan, Polomolok, South Cotabato where the first case of alleged harmful effects of the flowering Bt corn was documented.

In April this year, the same illnesses were reported to have hit at least a dozen residents near a Bt corn plantation in Barangay Rotonda in this city.

The incident in Sitio Kalyong gained global attention when Dr. Terje Traviik, a scientist from the Norwegian Institute of Gene Ecology, claimed a study on the blood samples of 39 B’laan residents from the area yielded positive to exposure to Bt toxin.

On August 8, 2003, about 100 residents from Sitio Kalyong were documented to have been suffering from headache, dizziness, extreme stomach pain, vomiting and allergies.

The documentation was made some three months after local farmers planted Yieldgard 818, a Bt corn variety produced by Monsanto Philippines. But government medical experts immediately countered Traviik’s findings saying they were not based on standard scientific and medical processes.

Morales said they plan to extract blood samples from affected residents in San Mariano and Bagumbayan for further scientific and medical testing.

He said they are considering tapping the services of Traviik who is now reportedly conducting a study on the "cause and effect" of the Kalyong incident in relation to the Bt corn toxin.

Morales said they have also started campaign among farmers in Bagumbayan to stop planting Bt corn in the area.

"We are focusing much attention on this campaign because we have received information that at least 6,000 bags of Bt corn seeds are set to arrive in Barangay Tuka," he said.

Morales said they are also closely watching other villages in Bagumbayan where over 50 percent of the town’s 67,295 hectares of agricultural lands are presently planted to corn.

Meanwhile, the Sultan Kudarat agriculture office has not received any report on the Barangay Tuka illnesses.

"We don’t know anything about that but we will immediately refer the matter to the Bagumbayan agriculture office," provincial corn coordinator Inocencio Padilla told MindaNews in a telephone interview this morning.

But Padilla expressed doubts on the reports saying this could just be "part of the propaganda" by groups opposing the commercialization of Bt corn.

Monsanto officials earlier brushed aside the findings of Traavik and assured the public their Bt corn product has no ill effects to humans and the environment.

"We really don't know how they were able to determine such findings. I think it's a biased result considering that they came from those opposing our product," said Francisco Camacho, Monsanto technology development executive.

6. American Society of Plant Biologists

Contact: Brian Hyps bhyps@aspb.org

Passage of GMO ban in San Luis Obispo would encourage use of harsh pesticides ASPB urges defeat of San Luis Obispo ballot measure Q Voters in San Luis Obispo County are being encouraged by the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) to vote "No" on November Ballot Measure Q. By banning the growing of genetically modified crops, Measure Q would encourage the continued widespread use of harsh chemical pesticides in farming. ASPB President Roger Hangarter, Professor at Indiana University, and ASPB Committee on Public Affairs Chair Pamela Ronald, Professor at University of California, Davis, sent a letter today to the Chair of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors Harry Ovitt explaining the need to oppose the proposed ban on GMOs.

Following is the letter sent by ASPB:

October 20, 2004

Mr. Harry Ovitt
San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors
Room 370, County Government Center
San Luis Obispo, California 93408

Dear Mr. Ovitt:

The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) urges you and your fellow voters in San Luis Obispo County to oppose Measure Q on the local ballot November 2.

If passed, Measure Q Section 2 would make it unlawful for any person or entity to propagate, cultivate, raise, or grow genetically engineered organisms in San Luis Obispo County.

If the Agricultural Commissioner determines there has been a violation of this Ordinance proposed under Measure Q, in addition to confiscation and destruction of any organisms that are found to be in violation, Measure Q calls for the Agricultural Commissioner to impose a monetary penalty on the person, firm, or corporation responsible for the violation, taking into account the amount of damage, any potential damage, and the willfulness of the person, firm, or corporation.

Measure Q's exemption from the ban on growing GE crops for university-based agricultural research does not apply to field testing. This prohibition on field testing by university researchers, will discourage further university-based research in the County.

A review of the scientific literature shows that genetically engineered foods are safe to eat. For example, the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies published a study this year which states that "To date, no adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population." Furthermore they found that genetically engineered foods and traditionally bred food crops present similar risks. The report can be read on the National Academies web site at http://www.nap.edu/books/0309092094/html/ .

The progress of science using modern technologies, such as genetic engineering has lead to the reduction of pesticide usage and to less disease. For example, in China, use of genetically engineered cotton eliminated the use of 156 million pounds of pesticides in 2001. This reduction of 156 million pounds of pesticides in China is approximately equal to the entire amount of pesticides used annually in California. Further adoption of genetically modified crops in San Luis Obispo and other California counties would lead to large reductions in pesticide use in the state. Reduction in the release of pesticides into the environment, including our lakes, rivers and streams, cuts down dramatically on exposure to harsh chemical pesticides by farm workers and millions of Americans. Genetically engineered plants that more effectively resist pests have also led to improved crop yields. Measure Q encourages the current widespread use of toxic chemical pesticides in farming.

Furthermore, there are instances in which genetic engineering can produce healthier and safer foods than can be accomplished using traditional plant breeding technologies. Researchers based in California (University of California, Berkeley) have genetically engineered wheat, which will be much safer for people with wheat allergies to consume. Similarly, soybeans have been engineered with reduced allergens, which will lead to safer soy-based infant formula and other soy food products.

Much lower levels of mycotoxins, known potential cancer-causing agents, have been found in lines of genetically engineered corn, compared to conventional corn. The reason for this is that the genetically engineered corn is more effective at preventing injury from insects, which is associated with high levels of mycotoxins. Genetically engineered rice, known as Golden Rice, with higher levels of beta carotene is a new tool that can be used to address Vitamin A deficiencies in the diets of people in much of the developing world. Lack of vitamin A causes millions of cases of blindness among children of poor nations as well as many childhood deaths.

The benefits that genetic modification of foods offer to the people throughout the world are substantial. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in a report issued in May of this year found that biotechnology and genetic engineering of crops hold great promise for agriculture in developing countries. The report noted that more than 70 percent of the world's poor still live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their survival. Agricultural research - including biotechnology - holds an important key to meeting their needs, the FAO said. The FAO added that biotechnology can speed up conventional breeding programs and may offer solutions where conventional methods fail.

Passage of Measure Q would encourage the current widespread use of harsh chemical pesticides in farming. To promote healthier working conditions for farmers and hired farm workers, and for the benefit of other residents of the county, we urge you and your fellow voters in San Luis Obispo County to vote "No" on Measure Q.

Founded in 1924, ASPB is a non-profit society of nearly 6,000 plant scientists, including 450 scientists in California, based primarily at universities.


Roger Hangarter
Professor, Indiana University
President, ASPB

Pamela Ronald
Professor, University of California, Davis
Chair, ASPB Committee on Public Affairs

CropChoice editor's note: Below are the members of the Board of the American Society of Plant Biologists.

Board of Directors October 2002 - September 2003

Chair: Daniel Cosgrove, Professor, Pennsylvania State University

Immediate Past-Chair: Robert Goldberg, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles


Anthony Cavalieri Vice President and Director Trait & Technology Development-Output Traits Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc./DuPont

Eric Davies
Botany Department
North Carolina State University

Richard B. Flavell
Chief Scientific Officer
Ceres, Inc.

Susan K. Harlander
BIOrational Consultants, Inc.

Dr. Robert Horsch
President Sustaining Development Sector
Monsanto Company

Brian A. Larkins
Professor, Dept of Plant Science
University of Arizona

Peggy G. Lemaux
CE Specialist
Dept. of Plant & Microbial Biology
University of California, Berkeley

Barbara J. Mazur
Director, Genomics Strategy
Crop Genetics Research and Development
DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition
DuPont Experimental Station

Edward Shonsey
President and CEO
Syngenta Seeds, Inc.

James Siedow
Professor of Botany
Levine Science Research Center
Duke University