Press Release

Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology to Conclude Its Work


The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology will conclude its work at the end of March 2007. Established by The Pew Charitable Trusts in 2001, the project has achieved its goals of illuminating policy issues arising from advances in ag biotech and serving as a credible “honest broker” that could bring together stakeholders of differing views to discuss the opportunities and challenges that ag biotech presents. Through its reports, fact sheets, polls and conferences, the project has served as a respected information source for policymakers, educators, the public and the media in the U.S. and globally. “The Pew Initiative has played a unique role in bringing together diverse stakeholders to mutually explore common issues, and in highlighting key policy issues for consumers, industry and policymakers,” said Michael Fernandez, executive director of the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology. “Through its balanced analysis of the opportunities and challenges posed by these emerging technologies, the Initiative highlighted strengths and weaknesses of the oversight system and pinpointed solutions to make it stronger.”

“The Pew Initiative and its staff have done much to help change the tenor of the debate to one of constructive dialogue,” said Jim O'Hara, managing director of policy initiatives and the Health and Human Services program at The Pew Charitable Trusts. “We are also pleased the Initiative has contributed to improving the quality of information about biotechnology and focusing attention on how the regulatory framework needs updating to keep up with advances in this technology and ensure its benefits for consumers. The materials developed by the Initiative will remain a critical resource for policymakers in the years to come.”

“We are enormously pleased to have had the opportunity to partner with so many leaders in the fields of biotechnology, agriculture and public policy over the last six years,” Fernandez said. “We could not have been effective without the input and involvement of these key stakeholders. We also greatly appreciate the investment and commitment of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the University of Richmond – both of whom deserve a great deal of credit for making this project the success that it has been.”

Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology to Conclude Its Work