Biotechnology conference on ‘Pharming’ slated

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COLUMBUS – With rapid advances in the science of biotechnology coupled with swift adoption of genetically engineered seeds by today’s farmers, the fundamental nature of commercial agriculture has changed.

To examine these issues, the Ohio State University Farm Income Enhancement Program and the Center for Innovative Food Technology, a division of EISC Inc., are sponsoring the fourth annual Agricultural Biotechnology Conference.

The conference is planned for Feb. 21 in the Bromfield Auditorium at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg. The theme for this year’s conference is “Pharming,” the enterprise of using genetically engineered plants or livestock to produce medically useful products for consumers.

The all-day conference will focus on the economics of pharming with emphasis on opportunities that these technologies may present for farmers, food processors and food distributors.

Issues to be addressed include: why researchers genetically engineer plants to make pharmaceuticals, the advantages of this production process; and how these new products could be handled from an environmental and containment viewpoint.

The early bird registration rate of $100 expires Feb. 7. More information on this conference is available at www.osuagbiotech.org or by contacting, Tari Marcou in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at 614-292-0315.

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