Biotech Working Group

The soy industry and U.S. farmers have much to gain from the commercialization of soybean biotech varieties that increase yield, improve food and feed nutrition, resist disease, offer competition/alternatives in the marketplace, and help in managing weed resistance issues.

Given the number of new soybean biotechnology events that biotech providers had committed to bring the next generations of biotech soybeans to the marketplace, the American Soybean Association (ASA) formed the Biotech Working Group (BWG) in 2007. Such a robust pipeline of events requires strong coordination between U.S. soybean farmers and technology providers if new biotech events are to be brought to market in a timely manner while not disrupting domestic or foreign markets.

The Biotech Working Group provides the forum where over-arching biotechnology issues (e.g., adventitious presence, U.S. and foreign government regulatory systems, trade and market barriers, education needs, etc.) are discussed and addressed by technology providers and U.S. soybean growers.

The Biotech Working Group also provides a confidential forum where individual event/company issues (e.g., pre-launch stewardship plans, efforts to seek and obtain regulatory approvals for specific events in the U.S. and foreign export markets, etc.) are discussed and addressed by individual companies and U.S. soybean growers. Action plans are developed as an outgrowth of these discussions.

The Biotech Working Group is comprised of farmer leaders and staff from ASA, United Soybean Board (USB), and U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).

Meetings are held twice yearly with at least one meeting being held in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the Biotech Working Group, please contact: Bill Schuermann, ASA Executive Director of Member & Industry Relations, at 314-754-1336 or bschuermann@soy.org

Current members of the Biotech Working Group are:

  • Danny Murphy, Miss. (ASA), Chairperson
  • Wade Cowan, Texas (ASA)
  • Ray Gaesser, Iowa (ASA)
  • Alan Kemper, Ind. (ASA)
  • Steve Wellman, Neb. (ASA)
  • Wyatt Whitford, N.C. (ASA)
  • Richard Wilkins, Del. (ASA)
  • Laura Foel, Iowa (USB)
  • Keith Kemp, Ohio (USB)
  • Steve Moore, Md. (USB)
  • Jim Miller, Neb. (USSEC)
  • Tom Rotello, Tex. (USSEC)

Major technology companies that are developing new soybean biotech events are also involved. Current corporate partners are:

  • BASF
  • Bayer Crop Science
  • Dow AgroSciences
  • DuPont Pioneer
  • Monsanto
  • Syngenta
  • Annually, three to five in-country missions to EU, Korea, Turkey and China with hundreds of contacts made.
  • EU has reacted to BWG program of greatly increased awareness of the ‘async’ and zero tolerance issues. feed and livestock industries, plus farmer organizations, have been successfully motivated to become more active in biotech issues
  • Specific efforts helped Bayer’s Liberty Link (LLS) and Monsanto’s RR2Y receive full authorization in EU.
  • Current focus is on the near-term pipeline events: Plenish and Visitive Gold high-omega soybeans and a new Liberty Link platform.
  • Through farmer-leaders, create additional awareness of coming pipeline events