Crop Breeding: The Root of Modern Agriculture

Washington, DC.  April 28, 2014 --  Dr. Jorge Dubcovsky, an internationally acclaimed wheat geneticist at the University of California, Davis, ASA and CSSA member, participated in a joint congressional briefing on the scientific tools for plant breeding and the impacts of mandatory labeling for genetically engineering foods to educate policy makers and stakeholders on the science behind these issues.

The National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research (National C-FAR) organized the event, bringing together the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), the American Society of Plant Biologists, the Agronomy, Crop and Soil Science Societies and the Modern Agricultural Caucus.

Dr. Dubcovsky explained why researchers must use all the tools available to plant breeders, including genetic engineering, in order to sustainability meet the demand for food due to population growth while mitigating the affects of climate change.

Dr. Sally Mackenzie, from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln joined Dr. Dubcovsky in talking about modern plant breeding by highlighting the recommendations in the report, Unleashing a Decade of Innovation in Plant Science - A Vision for 2015-2025

The presenter on the CAST labeling report, “The Potential Impacts of Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Engineered Food in the United States.” was Dr. Alison Van Eenannaam, Department of Animal Science, UC-Davis.

“These presentations provide excellent examples of the value of federally funded food and agricultural research, Extension and education in producing the scientific outcomes and outreach needed to meet 21st century challenges and opportunities,” says Chuck Conner, President of the National C-FAR.

Dr. Dubcovsky was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences on April 27, during the 151st Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.