The group - U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance - has named its first secretariat. Michael J. Phillips will take the lead in developing collaborative efforts to improve the environment for technology innovation and the market for U.S. crops produced through modern biotechnology.
USBCA was established in 2012 and has already developed and is working to implement consensus positions on key policy issues designed to improve the introduction, stewardship, domestic and international regulatory policy, and distribution in U.S. and export markets of commodities and processed products containing or derived from modern biotechnology.
In his capacity, Phillips becomes the focal point of the group's efforts to further advance the reach, work and wide range of activities being pursued under the expanding national initiative. The group already includes 11 national organizations representing U.S. biotechnology providers, seed, grain and oilseed producers, grain handlers, feed manufacturers, grain processors and millers, exporters and other end users.
Phillips is president of MJ Phillips and Associates LLC an ag consulting firm that specializes in biotech issues. Prior to establishing the consulting business, Phillips was vice president for science and regulatory policy for food and agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Organization, where he was responsible for developing and implementing policy on the science, regulatory, compliance, stewardship and trade implications of ag biotech. Among other things, he assisted technology providers in developing consensus positions on complex issues, and was responsible for facilitating outreach to producer, industry and other stakeholders, as well as to Congress and government agencies. While with BIO, he also worked with the biotech value chain in advocating establishment of a U.S. and global low-level presence policy for shipments of biotech-enhanced traits that have successfully completed thorough scientific reviews for product and environmental safety in one or more countries, while still undergoing such governmental review in other countries.
The USBCA’s founding organizations are the: National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, American Seed Trade Association, Biotechnology Industry Organization, National Grain and Feed Association, and North American Export Grain Association. Other national organizations that subsequently have become participants in the USBCA include: American Farm Bureau Federation, Corn Refiners Association, National Oilseed Processors Association, U.S. Grains Council and U.S. Soybean Export Council.