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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Biotechnology Outreach Program

Location: Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research

Project Number: 5320-21000-015-01
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 14, 2008
End Date: Jul 31, 2013

Objective:
1. Provide marketing organizations, growers and associated industries with current information on agricultural biotechnology. 2. Contribute presentations and inputs as requested at hearing of bills related to agricultural biotechnology bills. 3. Biotechnology education for children. 4. Improved understanding of agricultural biotechnology issues by growers, marketers, legislators and consumers.

Approach:
Outreach options suited to each target group will be used. These options include formal presentations, printed materials, electronic materials, small-group discussions, video, and television presentations. Certain groups will be provided with opportunity to obtain hands-on training in certain aspects of biotechnology, such as basic things like DNA extraction, sequencing and food testing. 1. Interaction with marketing organizations: Providing marketing organizations with appropriate information is central to this program. This will be achieved by first identifying marketers that require information on biotech crops. Once identified, their level of understanding of the issues will be determined through surveys. The outcomes of these surveys will be used to develop educational materials suited to the needs of different marketers. This information will provide improved marketing within Hawaii, and also outside of the State, including mainland markets and international markets. 2. Grower/Industry Involvement: Contact and interaction with industry and activists: It is important to maintain a balanced and educated perspective on developments in agricultural biotechnology, in both the commercial sector and among the groups opposed to these developments. I have developed working relationships with Monsanto, Pioneer and HARC, as well as opponent groups such as GMO Free Hawai'i on each island. Grower groups with which I work include banana grower associations, papaya growers and coffee growers. This project will continue to allow interaction among these major role players in the area of agricultural biotechnology. The types of interactions will vary as required, and will include most of the options listed above. 3. Legislative Presentations/Inputs: Work with State and County regulatory agencies: State legislators have to deal extensively with bills regarding biotechnology. In 2005 and 2006 legislative sessions, total of 64 bills and resolutions were introduced (House and Senate) opposing agricultural biotechnology. This underscores the importance of providing educational materials to legislators when requested. Documents SCA with Univervity of HI Manoa; formerly 5320-21000-011-04S. (06/08)Formerly 5320-21000-011-12S (11/10). Formerly 5320-21000-013-04S (05/13).

Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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