Dow AgroSciences Canada President and CEO Jim Wispinski
Bill C-474 has passed second reading in the House of Commons and is now before the standing committee on agriculture. The bill would add a market analysis component to the requirements for bringing forward genetically modified crops. Some people in the industry are concerned about moving away from science when making these types of decisions.
That includes Jim Wispinski, President and CEO of Dow Agrosciences Canada. He says Bill C-474 would add and element of unpredictability for all companies investing in biotechnology traits. He explains Dow Agrosciences advocates for science based regulation to allow predictability in the regulatory path and that gives them confidence to do investments. When you introduce non-scientific criteria in the regulation, it adds another element of risk to an already business. Wispinski says anytime you are investing a large amount of money to bring a trait to market it takes six to ten years from today. When you add uncertainty, it becomes another hurdle they need to overcome in order to sell that investment.
He believes one of the real opportunities is to work to ensure there is a global low level presence policy in regulations around low level genetic modified presence in a crop. Wispinski feels this a much more workable situation to allow trade but still allow innovation to take place. He says it's all about finding the win-win to facilitate innovation and to facilitate the commercialization of the traits that are needed to advance agriculture and produce enough crops and still allow solid science based regulation.
Wispinski adds public acceptance of bio-tech continues to improve everywhere. Having said that, he notes we still need low-level policies and regulations around them to facilitate the commercialization and the discontinuation of product in the future as they become replaced with newer traits.
~ Thursday, September 23, 2010 ~