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Chair Stacey Plaskett Opening Statement at Hearing on “Agricultural Biotechnology: 21st Century Advancements and Applications"

WASHINGTON Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee Chair Stacey Plaskett delivered the following statement at today's joint hearing “Agricultural Biotechnology: 21st Century Advancements and Applications".

[As prepared for delivery]

Hello, and welcome to what is sure to be an informative hearing today as we discuss the advancements and applications of agricultural biotechnology.

Thank you, Mr. Costa, Chair of the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee, for your partnership in convening this hearing and sharing your expertise. This sort of collaboration will help us all view our work on the Agriculture Committee through a broader lens and facilitate more holistic conversations as we look ahead to the next Farm Bill.

Today’s hearing will be an opportunity for Members to learn and evaluate the regulatory framework of agricultural biotechnology and engage with experts in plant and animal agricultural innovation.

I look forward to hearing updates on innovations coming down the pipeline, as well as what we on the Agriculture Committee can be doing to ensure these innovations are getting into the right hands to produce a more resilient food supply and generate opportunities in our agricultural communities.

I would also like to highlight the exciting research that is going on in my District –the University of the Virgin Islands Agriculture Experiment Station is working on vital biotechnology research into traditional Caribbean crops such as papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, cassava, sweet potato varieties, and more. This important research is working to develop varieties of crops that are disease resistant, better adapted to local soil types, and provide a multitude of other benefits.

Again, I look forward to having an informative and productive dialogue today, and to working with the Chair and both Ranking Members here today as we continue this discussion. And with that Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

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