Foreign Representatives Attend U.S. Biotechnology Course

August 13, 2009 07:00 PM

Rachel Duff, Farm Journal intern
Hear what attendees had to say.
The Agricultural Biotechnology Regulation Immersion Course 2009 brought representatives from many foreign countries. Some of them were Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, Cambodia, Malaysia, Moldova, Belgium and Slovakia. The representatives came to the University of Missouri campus Tuesday and will stay until Saturday.
The participants are learning about biotech crops for the purpose of regulating the crops in their respective countries, says Piet van der Meer, one of the coordinators of the event. The conference is sponsored by the United Soybean Board and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.
On Thursday, the participants worked in the laboratory to practice and watch a soybean become genetically engineered. They conducted a transformation of a soybean plant, which consisted of isolating an embryo for transformation and the inoculation process to add Agrobacterium to add the new gene, surrounded by all the equipment used for genetic engineering everyday, according to the program agenda.
Next week, the participants will travel to St. Louis, Mo., to have more hands-on work with genetically modified crops in the fields.
The purpose of the course for R. Ademola Usman, from the Federal Ministry of Environmental BioSafety office in Nigeria, is to communicate to the public in Nigeria that biotech crops can increase the nutritional value of the crops in Nigeria. He says that he can tell the public that he's been to Missouri and seen the crops working. 

Watch a video of the genetic engineering process.

Watch a slideshow of Aug. 13.

You can e-mail Rachel Duff at


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