Prakash and others,
I must say Ajit has hit the nail on the head with this. Which article do
you believe and what exactly does Mr. Pretty mean when he uses the term
"sustainable" farming techniques. I consider lots of things
sustainable that others don't, such as use of synthetic fertilizers,
pesticides, biotechnology, etc. In fact, I believe that these
technologies are even more sustainable than organic considering the
organic nutrient limits facing planet earth and humanity.
Clearly, no-till farming is more sustainable than traditional organic
"bare-earth" tillage techniques, whether it is based on a cover crop
and mowing or cover crops and herbicides or just herbicides. I assume Mr.
Pretty includes all of these and in this regard, I can agree with him in
Personally, I distrust everything that comes from NGIN and that makes
me inclined to think that Mr. Pretty is Pro-sustainable ag (whatever his
definiton) and NOT anti-GM technologies. Too bad Mr. Pretty didn't reply
to the forum--rather than his cryptic reply forwarded from NGIN.
>I am not sure which story to believe. In one Mr. Pretty supports the
>golden rice and in the other story from the NGIN web site he is
>also, in the article from New Scientist
>(http://www.newscientist.com/dailynews/news.jsp?id=ns9999325) he is
>advocating for use of non-ploughing techniques for the sustainable
>farming. But I have read that transgenic technology also makes use of this
>technique. For example, see following url:
Date: Jan 18 2001 17:48:42 EST
From: "Gordon Couger"
Subject: Re: Jules Pretty and no-till
Both are true with in limits. The green position of producing nitrogen
with legumes requires that the land be double cropped with a legume to
make the nitrogen which will only work in area of the world that have
enough rainfall to support two crops a year or it requires raising a
legume one year and grain crop the next. Legume do not provide enough
nitrogen to produce the maximum yields that varieties are capable of
unless the land is left in a crop like alfalfa for several years.
Alfalfa is an excellent animal forage but effective removes the land from
production of crops for human consumption for 5 to 7 years and only
provides nitrogen for excellent yields for two years and good yields for
Using off season crops to control weeds has been known a long time. Again
it takes enough rainfall to raise two crops. Most of the farm land in the
world does not receive this much rain. No till mitigates water use of the
cover crop a little because there is no moisture lost in tillage
operations. If the cover crop grows to maturity
which I assume it does in this example as organic methods have no means of
killing it that small moisture saving is over whelmed by the moisture use
of the off season crop.
Organic practices cannot provide enough nitrogen to produce maximum yields
on a wide spread basis. Using nitrogen fixing crops cause a substantial
reduction in yield compared to conventional fertilizer if you look at all
the land on the farm not just the acres planted to crop.
The responsible organic farmers agree that their methods reduce the yield
substantially. The optimistic ones say the reduction is 1/3 of
conventional farming and to feed the world 50 years from now we need to
double our yields. Unless we are willing to let a lot of people starve we
have to rapidly improve on the best we have. We don't have the luxury of
giving up a third of our production in a system that has almost no room
for increase in yields. Because it refuses to use modern technology in
almost any from.
The article on using plants to control weeds did not list what plants they
were using. I assume that they are using some of the sorghums that leave a
substance that inhibits weed growth. This is far from a universal
herbicide for all weeds and sorghums are heavy users of both water and
nitrogen. The two most limiting factors in crop production in the world.
No mater what plant they use to control the weeds it will tie up nitrogen
and use water. In some areas the water may not be a problem. In all
organic situations except when raising legumes limited nitrogen is a
potential problem. I am sure it also has a substantial cost of hand
removal of weeds because I know of no plant that inhibits all weeds.
I have seen no till using Round up ready cotton. The way it is being done
in southwest Oklahoma is to plant wheat in the late fall and let it grow
up enough to provide good ground cover but not high enough to cause
problems harvesting and kill it chemically. Leave it alone until time to
plant cotton and plant Round Up Ready cotton directly into the undisturbed
wheat cover. Treat it with one pint of Round Up to kill the weeds and
In both cases there is a cover crop but in the case using round up the
wheat is allowed to use very little water before it is killed. In the case
of the renewable cover crop it would have to mature and die or be up
rooted by hand to stop it from growing.
I was raised on a farm and farmed most of my life. In the 50's we were
farming with what are called organic methods today. Over the years I
farmed next to people that stayed with the old ways and rented some of the
ground that they farmed using those methods. My yields were nearly twice
what theirs were over a period of 5 years and when I rented the land in a
period of 3 years I had it yielding the same as the land I farmed next to
Before I believe the claims that organic or so called sustainable farming
can equal the yields of convintial farming I will have to see a land grant
university controlled experiment of 5 years or more done by agronomist
that takes the trouble to do a nutrient balance on nitrogen, phosphorus, a
potassium, and trace elements and show that the organic farm is not mining
the soil. When I ask for these things from a supporter of organic
agriculture they don't understand what I am talking about or they ignore
I don't think they are willing to do the studies because they know as well
as I do that their claims won't stand up to a rigorous experiment done by
an objective scientist.
Gordon Couger firstname.lastname@example.org
Retired Farmer www.couger.com/gcouger
From: Ajit Chopra
Subject: Jules Pretty and no-till
I am not sure which story to believe. In one Mr. Pretty supports the
golden rice and in the other story from the NGIN web site he is against
also, in the article from New Scientist
(http://www.newscientist.com/dailynews/news.jsp?id=ns9999325) he is
advocating for use of non-ploughing techniques for the sustainable
farming. But I have read that transgenic technology also makes use of
this technique. For example, see following url:
Date: Jan 19 2001 05:40:47 EST
From: Bob Orskov
Subject: (No Subject)
I have been following the interesting debate as to how to interpret
Prettys viewpoint let me add my point. It is my job to travel around many
rural areas in Asia and Africa and be involved in many resource management
projects with emphasis on livestock.
I must say I have a problem with advocates of GM as being a solution to
world food problems I have just returned from Vietnam yesterday. Due to
the immense presures they experienced during the war with US and the
sanctions imposed on them afterwards they leaned to make better use of the
existing biomas though in my opinion they are still wasting a lot. But
they have probably the smalest amount of arable land per inhabitant and
yet they are now the secong largest exporter of rice in the world. China
has about 7% of the arable land in the world yet feeds 22% of the worlds
population. I have to admit unfortunately that when I meet GM enthusiasts
in developing countries I find that their concern is more for their
shareholders profit than for long term effects on poverty alliviation.
There are numerous options for increasing use of existing biomas before we
need to turn to many inadeqautely tested tecnologies such as GM or let us
at least attend to both.
Best regards Bob orskov
Professor E R Orskov ( OBE)
Macaulay land Use Research Institute
Craigiebuckler Aberdeen AB158QH Scotland UK
Phone direct 01224 498243.
Institute 01224 318611
Fax 01224 311556
Web pages Http://www.mluri.sari.ac.uk/ifru
Cooperation can stop starvation
January 15, 2001
Scientists not only are standing in support of biotechnology but also are
urging that its benefits be extended to the people who need it most:
hungry people in the developing world.
More than 2,800 eminent scientists (including three Nobel laureates) in
recent months have signed a statement of support. Expert panels with the
World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development have made strong statements supporting the safety of the
crops. Numerous scientific societies are passing proclamations in support.
Recently, six national science academies (U.S., Britain, Brazil, China,
India and Mexico) and the Third World Academy of Sciences, issued a joint
statement, not only endorsing biotechnology but urging companies,
governments and charities to extend it to the developing world.
The need is great
The need for new technologies is great, as the seven academics describe:
· Today, there are some 800 million people who do not have access to
sufficient food to meet their needs.
· Malnutrition plays a significant role in half of the nearly 12 million
deaths each year of children under five in developing countries.
· In addition to lack of food, deficiencies in micro-nutrients (especially
vitamin A, iodine and iron) are widespread.
· Global climate change and alterations in land use will exacerbate the
problems of regional production and demands for food.
· In developing countries about 650 million of the poorest people live in
rural areas where the local production of food is the main economic
Coupled with that great need is the fact that the rate of food production
globally has dropped from 3% per annum in the 1970s to 1% per annum now.
Burgeoning population, especially in the developing world, will soon
outstrip food production.
Scientists are urging private and public funding and cooperative research
to ensure that the benefits of biotechnology are extended to solving great
needs among needy people. They urge a blending of market-driven and
public-funded research that will provide benefits where little or no
profit opportunity exists.
The scientists challenge developers of genetically modified crops to make
sure that their efforts address these needs, but they make it clear that
private companies cannot be expected to do this work alone. "Governments
should fully recognize that there will always be public interest research
requiring public investment, even in the market-driven economy."
The seven academies say private companies must "share with the public
sector more of their capacity for innovation" and that "care should be
taken so that research is not inhibited by over-protection of intellectual
property" (patents on genetic discoveries).
Development of golden rice
Recently Monsanto Co. announced that it would provide royalty-free
licenses for any of its technologies that can help further the development
of "golden rice." The new rice, being developed at the Swiss Federal
Institute of Technology with support from the Rockefeller Foundation,
holds promise to help hundreds of thousands of children who suffer from
life-threatening diseases and blindness related to vitamin A deficiency.
Zeneca, a British life sciences company, has pledged to provide
regulatory, advisory and research expertise to bring the "golden rice" to
developing countries. There are many other examples of industry
collaboration with governments and public agencies.
Today, when a "new green revolution" is urgently needed, the scientists
bemoan the fact that the balance of research has shifted to the private
sector. The scientists call on charitable foundations and governments to
increase their support of research into new agricultural technologies.
Some well-endowed foundations direct millions of dollars annually to
environmental action groups sworn to oppose biotechnology. In addition
many governments put up roadblocks to research, field trials and
collaborations with industry.
Instead of this, everyone who likes to eat should be working for improved
C.S. Prakash is professor and director of the Center for Plant
Biotechnology Research at Tuskegee University in Alabama.
Hawking urges use of genetic engineering
The Straits Times
January 17, 2001
Calling on India to accept scientific developments, he says complexities
of human race will require improved humans to meet new challenges
NEW DELHI - Renowned British physicist and visionary Dr Stephen Hawking
has weighed in for genetic engineering, putting additional pressure on
India's establishment to accept scientific developments resisted by many
sectors, including the influential farming lobby. 'Genetic engineering
will happen in the next millennium whether we want it or not,' the
professor told an audience in Bombay on Sunday, at the beginning of a tour
of India. The development of 'improved humans' would create social and
political problems, he said, in relation to normal or 'unimproved' humans.
The complexities of the human race would require improved humans to meet
new challenges, he said. Alluding also to population growth, he said: 'One
possibility is that we will wipe ourselves out. The real danger is we will
kill everything on this planet now that we have the power to do so.' His
remarks came in the face of widespread concern from several sectors in
India - and across much of the developing world as well as the farming and
consumer sectors in Europe and North America - that genetic engineering
could have unforeseen consequences that would harm people. Fields have
been burned in southern India by angry farmers, and some years ago the
office of multinational Cargill was ransacked, in protest against the
introduction of genetically-modified strains of corn and cotton.
Cargill and another multinational, Monsanto , have come in for particular
criticism in some circles - and suspicion from the media - because of
their aggressive marketing of genetically-modified crop strains. More
recently, Indian wildlife conservationists and several biologists
expressed concern at attempts to clone endangered species, pointing out
that re-creating extinct or endangered species made no sense if the
habitat that supported them was allowed to wither. Money would be better
spent if it was dedicated to strengthening existing systems aimed at
protecting biodiversity, conservationists s aid when the Indian government
announced it would establish a DNA bank and attempt to clone the extinct
Indian cheetah at a project cost of 50 million rupees (S$1.9 million).
The influential Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) recently
recommended that India's Supreme Court decide the issue of applying
product s of genetic engineering in the wake of the uprooting of Monsanto
-Mahyco's boycott on plants from a farmer's plot in Karnataka, south
India. The judiciary will be breaking new ground in its efforts to
adjudicate on these issues. Underscoring this - and raising some eyebrows
- was a visit to the Chief Justice of India earlier this month by a
delegation of 10 judges and scientists from the United States, under the
auspices of the Maryland-based Einstein Institute for Science, Health and
the Courts. The institute is a non-profit organisation dedicated to
educating the judiciary on scientific issues such as transgenics, which it
predicts will figure more and more in courts of law. Institute president
Dr Franklin Zweig, speaking to reporters at the Indian Science Congress in
New Delhi, said the two-hour meeting was not aimed at influencing the
judiciary but at educating judges.
Radio Program on GM Food Subjects: The Saturday Food Chain, with
Michael Olson: Next Program: Do genetically-engineered Roundup Ready
soybeans kill Monarch butterflies? Can the United States prevent Mad Cow
disease from infesting its feedlots? Does methyl bromide burn holes in the
earth's protective ozone layer? Who can we trust to answer these big
This Saturday morning at 9am Pacific on AM 1080 KSCO and AM 1340
KOMY, the Saturday Food Chain with Michael Olson will host John Stauber,
founder of the Center for Media and Democracy and co-author of Trust Us,
We're Experts, for a conversation about the quiet science of engineering
public opinion. Topics will include a brief history of public relations;
how bias is built into university research programs; from where
"grassroots" support organizations come; and how public relations
specialists position news in the mind of the marketplace. Listeners are
invited to call the live
program with questions and comments at 831-479-1080 or email them through
the discussion group on the radio page at "http://www.metrofarm.com".
If you are unable to listen to the California radio stations Saturday
Morning YOU CAN LISTEN to the Saturday Food Chain streamed live or
recorded as an archive whenever and wherever you want by logging on the
radio page at "http://www.metrofarm.com.
Make Plans on the Hoof
The Times Higher Education Supplement (London)
22 Dec 2000
Whether it is GM food or the office Christmas party, the precautionary
principle sounds like a rational approach. But Gary Comstock, professor
and cowboy, finds that things are not that simple.
As a thirteen year-old, I won my dream job, wrangling horses at Honey Rock
Camp in northern Wisconsin. The image I cultivated for myself was the
weathered cowboy astride Chief or Big Red, dispensing nuggets to awestruck
young rider wannabes. But I was, as they say in Texas, all hat.
"Be careful!" was the best advice I could muster.
Only after years of experience in a western saddle would I have the skills
to size up various riders and advise them properly on a case-by-case
basis. You should slouch more against the cantle and get the balls of your
feet onto the stirrups. You need to thrust your heels in front of your
knees and down toward the animal's front hooves. You! Roll your hips in
rhythm with the animal, and stay away from the horn. You, stay alert for
sudden changes of direction.
Only after years of experience with hundreds of different riders would I
realize that my earlier generic advice, well-intentioned though it was,
had been of absolutely no use to anyone. As an older cowboy once remarked,
I might as well have been saying, "Go crazy!" Both pieces of advice were
equally useless in making good decisions about how to behave on a horse.
Now, as mad cow disease grips the European imagination, concerned
observers transfer fears to genetically modified foods, advising: "Take
precaution!" Is this a valuable observation that can guide specific public
policy decisions, or well-intentioned but ultimately unhelpful advice?
As formulated in the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,
the precautionary principle states that " . . . lack of full scientific
certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective
measures to prevent environmental degradation." The precautionary approach
has led many countries to declare a moratorium on GM crops on the
supposition that developing GM crops might lead to environmental
degradation. The countries are correct that this is an implication of the
principle. But is it the only implication?
Suppose global warming intensifies and comes, as some now darkly predict,
to interfere dramatically with food production and distribution. Massive
dislocations in international trade and corresponding political power
follow global food shortages, affecting all regions and nations. In
desperate attempts to feed themselves, billions begin to pillage game
animals, clear-cut forests to plant crops, cultivate previously
non-productive lands, apply fertilizers and pesticides at higher than
recommended rates, kill and eat endangered and previously non-endangered
Perhaps not a likely scenario, but not entirely implausible, either. GM
crops could help to prevent it, by providing hardier versions of
traditional lines capable of growing in drought conditions, or in saline
soils, or under unusual climactic stresses in previously temperate zones,
or in zones in which we have no prior agronomic experience.
On the supposition that we might need the tools of genetic engineering to
avert future episodes of crushing human attacks on what Aldo Leopold
called "the land," the precautionary principle requires that we develop GM
crops. Yes, we lack full scientific certainty that developing GM crops
will prevent environmental degradation. True, we do not know what the
final financial price of GM research and development will be. But if GM
technology were to help save the land, few would not deem that price
cost-effective. So, according to the precautionary principle, lack of full
scientific certainty that GM crops will prevent environmental degradation
shall not be used as a reason for postponing this potentially
The precautionary principle commits us to each of the following
(1) We must not develop GM crops.
(2) We must develop GM crops.
As (1) and (2) are plainly contradictory, however, defenders of the
principle should explain why its implications are not incoherent.
Much more helpful than the precautionary principle would be detailed
case-by-case recommendations crafted upon the basis of a wide review of
nonindustry-sponsored field tests conducted by objective scientists expert
in the construction and interpretation of ecological and medical data.
Without such a basis for judging this use acceptable and that use
unacceptable, we may as well advise people in the GM area to go crazy. It
would be just as helpful as "Take precaution!"
Gary Comstock is coordinator of the bioethics programme and professor of
philosophy and religious studies at Iowa State University. His book,
Vexing Nature? On the Ethical Case Against Agricultural Biotechnology
(Kluwer), tells the story of how he changed his mind about the moral
acceptability of GM foods. www.public.iastate.edu/~comstock/homepage.html
From: Tom Ingebritsen
Subject: On-line Biotechnology Course - Spring 2001
"Biotechnology in Agriculture, Food and Human Health" is a three credit
Iowa State University course that is offered entirely on-line. The course
covers scientific principles and techniques in biotechnology; products and
applications in agriculture, food and human health; and ethical, legal and
social implications of biotechnology. It can be taken for undergraduate
(Gen 308) or graduate (Gen 508) credit. Individuals taking the course for
graduate credit must also complete a creative component.
The course consists of on-line lectures, homework assignments and reading
material. The on-line lectures are similar to those a student might
experience in a traditional classroom. Students listen to lectures using
RealAudio while viewing lecture materials with a Web browser. The
homework assignments include lab simulations and activities that require
students to access and process data from authentic scientific databases.
Reading is from a required textbook as well as selected articles available
on the internet. All course materials, except the textbook, are
available on-line 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week and can be accessed via the
World Wide Web.
The course will begin Jan. 8, 2001 and will end May 4, 2001. The
registration deadline is Jan. 15, 2001.
Spring semester 2001 tuition
Undergraduate: $122 per credit
Graduate: $192 per credit
For further information and registration instructions see the Project BIO
World Wide Web site (http://project.bio.iastate.edu) or contact the
instructor: Dr. Tom Ingebritsen, Department of Zoology and Genetics, Iowa
State University, Ames, IA 50011-3223. Email: email@example.com;
Phone: (515) 294-9432; Fax: (515) 294-9432.
World Agricultural Forum: A New Age in Agriculture - Feeding The World
World Agricultural Forum
You are invited to attend the 2001 Congress of the World Agricultural
Forum to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, May 20 to 22. This meeting will
bring together, in a venue unique to global agriculture, leaders and
decision makers who can advance mankind's ability to feed the world. As a
participant at the Congress, you will have an opportunity to join with
other world leaders to identify and discuss issues critical to agriculture
and food distribution as well as our common commitment to insure adequate
food and fiber for a growing world population. We anticipate that these
discussions will lead to the development of initiatives to resolve these
The agenda for the 2001 Congress goes to the heart of the profound
challenges facing global agriculture today--challenges made even more
daunting by a world population that grows nearly a quarter of a million
people every day and will exceed six billion by the end of 2001. Serving
at the invitation of the Advisory Board of Directors of the World
Agricultural Forum, presenters and panel members at the Congress will
represent the finest minds in global agriculture. They will address both
short-term and long-term implications of worldwide agricultural policies
and strategies. The comprehensive scope of the meeting ranges from global
demand and economics to health and nutrition to sustainability and the
The World Agricultural Forum was created to provide a continuing, neutral
arena for the discussion of world agriculture by experts from across
disciplines and national borders. With the involvement and support of
participants such as you, the 2001 Congress can achieve its potential as a
forum for airing global agricultural issues and developing solutions for
the future. I look forward to meeting you in May.
Sincerely, John C. Danforth
Agriculture is the most complex, yet basic, industry of man. Despite
this, there has been no neutral global forum that encompasses all of the
industry sectors -- at least until now. Agriculture, in its broadest
sense, needs to come together to debate and initiate solutions concerning
issues critical to providing food, fiber and fuel for everyone. The World
Agricultural Forum is an independent organization created to meet the
urgent need for open debate and discussion of these issues. It will serve
as a continuing dynamic forum for world leaders in industry, government,
academia, NGOs and IGOs.
Established in 1997, the World Agricultural Forum brings together, in a
biennial global Congress, experts from all sectors responsible for
providing for the world's growing population. World regional meetings will
be held in the years leading to the Congresses to address specific
concerns. Based upon these meetings, topics will be selected by the
Advisory Board of Directors for future World Congresses. The second World
Congress -- May 20 to 22, 2001 in St. Louis -- will bring together experts
from production, supply, technology, government, academia, transportation,
environmental protection and other disciplines. Included in discussions
* Global economic and agricultural baseline long-range forecasting
* World calorie and nutrition demands -- and implications for food
stocks, trade and consumer trends
* Technology priorities and funding, both agricultural and related
* Sustainability and environmental considerations
* Government policies affecting agriculture and its support systems
The World Agricultural Forum provides a neutral assemblage in which world
authorities can examine all the links in this intricate system and their
interrelationships. It is also intended as an opportunity for individual
members to form new alliances, associations and initiatives.
For the full agenda, see
For the full agenda, see
The International Food Policy Research Institute's 2020 VISION initiative
announces a major international conference:
SUSTAINABLE FOOD SECURITY FOR ALL BY 2020: FROM DIALOGUE TO ACTION
September 4-6, 2001, Bonn, Germany
The conference will take stock of the current food situation, consider the
issues most likely to affect future food security, and discuss priority
actions that can have the greatest impact on improving food security. To
sign up for conference information, please visit the conference website at
www.ifpri.org/2020conference. IFPRI seeks your opinion on the state of
food security and the major obstacles to achieving it. Please share your
views with us at the QuickPoll page of the conference website.
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 09:47:19 -0600
Subject: WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT
Safety First: Active Governance of Genetic Engineering for
Environment and Human Health Worldwide
March 2-3, 2001
Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability
University of Minnesota Minneapolis Campus
Online program and registration for workshop:
We are delighted to announce a workshop that is attracting growing
national and global interest, “Safety First: Active Governance of Genetic
Engineering for Environment and Human Health Worldwide,” March 2-3, 2001,
at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Campus. This workshop launches
a bold new initiative by the Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological
Sustainability (ISEES) that aims for practical steps to achieve more
effective safety governance of genetic engineering in a global economy.
There will be few events this year that bring together a more influential
group of leaders from industry, public interest groups, academia,
government and the media. Workshop participants will craft guidelines for
next steps to achieve industry-wide GMO safety programs that are
scientifically reliable, socially credible, and incorporate the government
and public interest groups in reinforcing industry responsibility and
Two approaches have been promoted thus far to fend off the hazards of
genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The first approach has been to rely
primarily on voluntary private sector efforts, the second to create a new
generation of government regulations. Each of these approaches is proving
unworkable and one result is that consumers are losing confidence in
genetically-modified foods. A third approach provides a credible
alternative: an industry-led governance approach that makes safety the
first priority and incorporates government and consumers in establishing a
reliable credible process for overseeing the GMO industry. This unique,
pro-active focus distinguishes our program from any other addressing
biotechnology issues. Our approach is inspired by the safety lessons from
other industries that engineer complex systems (although not as complex as
living organisms), including the successes and pitfalls of product safety
design, demonstration, and monitoring programs.
As you will see in the Program, a steering committee will contribute to
moving the workshop outcomes into the real world of industry and
government policy-making. This diverse group represents our commitment to
produce practical results that stimulate credible change in industry and
government policy. We look forward to further broadening of the
perspectives represented on this steering committee.
Please consult the workshop agenda online for further background, a
schedule and registration information. Please note the reduced hotel rate
deadline of February 1 and the workshop registration deadline of February
7. Do not hesitate to call or email us if you have further questions
regarding the workshop. We are expecting a large turnout for the workshop
and encourage you to register soon.
We look forward to working with you on this initiative.
Anne R. Kapuscinski
Director, Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability
Professor, Fisheries and Conservation Biology
Extension Specialist in Biotechnology and Aquaculture
Lawrence R. Jacobs
Associate Director, Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
Adjunct Associate Professor, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute
Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability
University of Minnesota
186 McNeal Hall
1985 Buford Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108
Job Announcement - Head of Biotechnology Unit OECD/DSTI
OECD Head of Biotechnology Unit Grade : A4
The OECD is an international organisation based in Paris with some
2000 staff. We are looking for a manager to develop and manage the
work programme on bio-sciences and biotechnology of the Working Party
on Biotechnology (WPB), under the Committee for Scientific and
Technological Policy. The person, under the direct supervision of the
Deputy Director, Science and Technology Policy, will head the
Biotechnology Unit of the Directorate for Science, Technology and
Industry (STI), managing a highly motivated team of professionals.
1. Lead the Biotechnology Unit, providing direction and
development for its staff, its programme of work and its
relationships with other parts of the OECD in the area of life
2. Provide the Committee for Scientific and Technological
Policy with appropriate support on work relevant to the life sciences
3. Act as Secretary of the CSTP's Working Party on Biotechnology and
its various sub-groups: * identify priorities for a work programme
and develop projects, in liaison with Member countries, other
International Organisations, the bio-industries and experts, focusing
on the scientific, technological, economic and regulatory issues
relevant to the bio-sciences and biotechnology; * carry out the work
programme of the Working Party, organising and managing meetings,
conferences, task forces and consultants, and preparing policy,
economic and scientific reports as appropriate; * support the
development and management of the work of the Working Party's human
health related sub-group(s); * manage projects within deadlines and
budgets and secure external funds as appropriate; * participate in
the Organisation's horizontal initiatives relevant to the
bio-sciences and biotechnology, such as the projects on health and
sustainable development; * co-ordinate and co-operate with related
activities and groups in other Directorates and within DSTI, for
example the development of biotechnological statistical indicators,
data privacy and intellectual property rights; * ensure interaction
and dialogue with civil society, particularly in areas of public
concern; * represent the Directorate on the Inter-Coordination Group
on Biotechnology within the Organisation; secure external funding for
the Working Party's activities.
4. Contribute to the Directorates' S&T policy work, such as projects
on the relationship between scientific activities and innovation, S&T
institutional structures and R&D personnel development.
The person we are looking for should have...
1. An advanced
university degree in science, medicine and/or economics. Extensive
experience at a senior level in the field of bio-sciences and/or
biotechnology, particularly in national or international activities,
such as regulatory oversight, scientific research, funding or
management of programmes.
2. At least ten years' experience in
policy-making, regulatory oversight, health, biotechnology or
bio-sciences policy assessment; alternatively work in a relevant
industry or bio-sciences issues.
3. Broad international network of
contacts in this field, particularly in government circles.
4. Outstanding written and oral communication and interpersonal skills,
including the ability to maintain effective working relations at all
levels in a multicultural environment.
5. Proven leadership qualities and experience in the management of
professional, interdisciplinary teams, and proven project management
6. Good practical knowledge of information technology and
7. Excellent knowledge of one of the two
official languages of the Organisation (English and French) including
a high quality of drafting ability in that language. Working
knowledge of the other language would be an advantage. N.B. The
appointment may initially be made at the level immediately below if
the qualifications and professional experience of the selected
applicant correspond to that level; in this case, the duties and
responsibilities assigned to the post will be adjusted accordingly.
Vacancy Reference : VAC(01)002 Closing date : 08-Feb-2001