Regulatory changes enacted a decade ago appear to be responsible for dramatically slowing the flow of quality-improving agricultural biotechnology innovations to a mere trickle, reports a team of agricultural economists and biotechnology experts.
Findings from the study, published in the August issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology, suggest that the slowdown may have lasting social welfare costs, such as the delay of nutritional improvements, production efficiencies and environmental protections.
"One of the great frustrations in the agricultural biotechnology community has been the failure of many new products with enhanced quality traits -- such as nutritional content, ripening control and processing attributes -- to reach consumers and processers," said Gregory Graff, an agricultural economist now at Colorado State University.
Graff led the study as a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis, working with Alan Bennett, a UC Davis plant science professor and executive director of the Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture, and David Zilberman, a professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley.
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CAL Alumni Foresters Annual Picnic July 18, 2009, at UC Forestry Camp, Meadow Valley, CA. around 40 foresters, their spouses and friends celebrated the completion of fundraising for the Zivnuska (Computer) Hall. Left to right: Dean J. Keith Gilless, College of Natural Resources; George Craig (Forestry ’39); and Hank Abraham (Forestry ’43)
Global forces are challenging the ability of develop ing countries to feed themselves. A number of countries have organized their economies around a competitive export-oriented agricultural sector, based mainly on monocultures.
It may be argued that agricultural exports of crops such as soybeans from Brazil make significant contributions to the national economies by bringing in hard currency that can be used to purchase other goods from abroad.
However, this type of industrial agriculture also brings a variety of economic, environmental, and social problems, including negative impacts on public health, ecosystem integrity, food quality, and in many cases disruption of traditional rural livelihoods, while accelerating indebtedness among thousands of farmers...
Edward (Ned) Sylvester, professor emeritus of entomology at UC Berkeley, died on Saturday, July 25. He was 89.
Sylvester joined the Department of Entomology at UC Berkeley in 1944. As a teacher, researcher, department chair, dean and finally professor emeritus, Dr. Sylvester made significant contributions to both his field of entomology and to UC Berkeley, and received the Berkeley Citation in 1990.
Ned is survived by Marian, his wife of 67 years, daughter Kathryn Jarrett, son Stephen and grandson Eric.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UC Berkeley Foundation for the Biosciences Library. Contact Kathryn Moriarty Baldwin at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on making a gift.