In efforts to address the nation’s challenges when it comes to health, energy and the environment, The White House has released a National Bioeconomy Blueprint designed to “strengthen bioscience research as a major driver of American innovation and economic growth.”
The blueprint’s five “strategic imperatives” support efforts in advancing controversial genetically modified organisms as a means to boost economic growth, and include research and development investments, reduce regulatory barriers to increase the speed to approval, boost the nation’s training efforts in academic institutions in bioeconomic fields and support relationships between the public and private sector.
“A growing U.S. population requires increased health services and more material resources including food, animal feed, fiber for clothing and housing, and sources of energy and chemicals for manufacturing. Recent advances in the biological sciences are allowing more and more of these needs to be met not with petroleum-based products and other non-renewable resources but with materials that are quite literally home-grown,” cites the official White House release, “Indeed, the convergence of biology with engineering and other sciences—including physics, chemistry, and computer sciences—is proving to have tremendous power to generate new scientific discoveries, new products, new markets, and new high-skilled jobs. The benefits can be seen in every sector of the economy, from agriculture to healthcare and from energy production to environmental monitoring and stewardship. Biobased materials are also proving to be excellent and sustainable substitutes for hydrocarbon-based raw materials in a number of industrial and manufacturing processes.”
Several of the blueprint’s initiatives are already in use, making it uncertain just what further changes will be made, but it seems certain that biotech industry giants like Monsanto, ConAgra, Dow and Syngenta will be taking the lead in supporting the Obama administration’s blueprint.
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