News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contact:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,
Release #01-058
Group to consider issues in the emerging field of transgenic food crops
SACRAMENTO-Nominations for a new Food Biotechnology Advisory Committee are being sought by the three state agencies participating in a state task force.

Senate Bill 2065 by Senator Jim Costa, signed by Governor Davis last year, calls on the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California Health and Human Services Agency and the California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency to begin a comprehensive study of issues related to food biotechnology.

The state agencies are to be assisted by a diverse advisory committee consisting of up to 30 members representing consumer groups, environmental organizations, farmers, ranchers, researchers, food processors, food retailers, representatives from the organic food industry and representatives from the biotechnology industry. Initially the committee will serve as a one-day focus group, guiding the preparation of a literature review on the benefits and risks of food biotechnology. The advisory committee may be asked in the future to be involved in further policy discussions on this issue.

Persons interested in serving on the committee should be able to meet the following selection criteria:
1. The capacity to represent one of the groups listed above and/or an established advocacy organization.
2. Demonstrated knowledge and experience in food biotechnology issues, as evidenced by professional experience, issue management, presentations at conferences, publications in journals or magazines and similar activities.
3. The ability to commit to a full day of focus group activities, as well as two full days reviewing draft reports in the first year of the advisory committee’s existence.
4. The ability to work within the framework of SB 2065, which mandates consideration of both the opportunities and potential risks of this new technology.

Advisory committee members will not receive compensation for their time but can be reimbursed for authorized travel expenses.

Interested individuals should submit a letter of interest and supporting documents that address the above selection criteria. Nominations will be accepted until July 31, 2001 or until the committee positions are filled. Please address all correspondence to Dr. Mimi C. Sen, Agricultural and Environmental Science Advisor, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Suite 409, Sacramento, CA 95814. Please be sure to include contact information such as telephone, facsimile, and e-mail address.

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814