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Committee Detail

Note: An Annual Comprehensive Review, as required by §7 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, is conducted each year on committee data entered for the previous fiscal year (referred to as the reporting year). The data for the reporting year is not considered verified until this review is complete and the data is moved to history for an agency/department. See the Data From Previous Years section at the bottom of this page for the committee’s historical, verified data.

USDA - 16568 - Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture - Agency Authority


Committee NameAdvisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century AgricultureAgency NameDepartment of Agriculture
Fiscal Year2017Committee Number16568
Original Establishment Date2/15/2003Committee StatusTerminated
Actual Termination Date3/13/2017Committee URL
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*No
Terminated This FYYesMax Number of Members*20-25
Current Charter Date3/13/2015Designated Fed Officer Position Title*Biotechnology Coordinator
Date Of Renewal Charter3/13/2017Designated Federal Officer PrefixDr.
Projected Termination Date Designated Federal Officer First Name*Michael
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle NameG.
Specific Termination AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Last Name*Schechtman
Establishment Authority*Agency AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*Agency Decision DocumentDesignated Federal Officer Phone*(202) 720-3817
Effective Date Of Authority*2/13/2003Designated Federal Officer Fax*(202) 690-4265
Exempt From EO 13875 Discretionary Cmte Designated Federal Officer Email*
Committee Type*Continuing
Committee Function*Other Committee


Agency Recommendation*Terminate
Legislation to Terminate RequiredNo
Legislation StatusNot Applicable
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*To maintain an intensive and regular dialogue to explore and understand the broad array of issues related to the expanding dimensions and importance of agricultural biotechnology, including: beneficial new agricultural products; assure the safety of new products with a science based approach; protecting public health and safety, the natural environment; contributing to long-term global food needs; and maintain a competitive position for American agricultural products in the international environment. The Committee is charged with examining the long-term impacts of biotechnology on the U.S. food and agriculture system and USDA, and providing guidance to USDA on pressing individual issues, identified by the Office of the Secretary, related to the application of biotechnology in agriculture. The AC21 delivered a major report to USDA in November 2012 on enhancing coexistence between different agricultural production methods. In a follow-up addressing a recommendation in that report that USDA lacks the authority to implement, in December 2015, the AC21 received a new charge, namely, In the AC21’s November 2012 report to USDA, the Committee recommended that USDA provide incentives for neighboring farmers to develop joint coexistence plans. It has been determined that USDA currently lacks the authority to put in place such incentives. Is there an approach by which farmers could be encouraged to work with their neighbors to develop joint coexistence plans at the state or local level? If so, how might the Federal government assist in that process?To address this charge, 3 ad hoc subcommittees were established after the December 2015 meeting to gather information for the full committee to consider: an Identity-Preserved Production Guidance Document subcommittee, composed of Mary-Howell Martens, Paul Anderson, Gregory Jaffe, Alan Kemper, Darren Ihnen, Lynn Clarkson, and Angela Olsen; a Models and Incentives for Local Coexistence Conversations subcommittee, composed of Marty Matlock, David Johnston, Jerry Slocum, Douglas Goehring, Isaura Andaluz, Laura Batcha, and Keith Kisling; and a Venues and Conveners for Local Coexistence Discussions subcommittee, composed of Latresia Wilson, Leon Corzine, Josette Lewis, Barry Bushue, Melissa Hughes, and Charles Benbrook.
How is membership balanced?*Membership consists of 20 to 25 individuals who will be knowledgeable in one or more of the following areas: recombinant-DNA (rDNA) research and applications using plants, animals, and microbes; food science; silviculture and related forest science; fisheries science; ecology; veterinary medicine; the broad range of farming or agricultural practices; weed science; entomology; nematology; plant pathology; biodiversity; applicable laws and regulations relevant to agricultural biotechnology policy; risk assessment; consumer advocacy and public attitudes; public health/epidemiology; ethics, including bioethics; human medicine; biotechnology industry activities and structure; intellectual property rights systems; and international trade.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*When a specific charge is set for the committee's work by the Secretary of Agriculture, the Committee may meet 4 times a year. The meetings are vital for USDA to address new and ongoing issues revolving around biotechnology in agriculture.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*The topics the Committee will be considering are complex and of crucial concern in the conduct of agricultural biotechnology research, regulation, and commercialization. USDA believes it is important to maintain an intensive and regular dialogue to explore and understand all aspects of the issues dealing with agriculture and biotechnology, and believes the advisory committee process is the best forum for this dialogue. The Committee provides USDA with advice on individual issues identified by the Secretary, and provides USDA with an analytical tool for anticipating long-term biotechnology impacts on agriculture that cannot be provided through any other source.
Why close or partially close meetings?Not applicable.
Recommendation RemarksThe Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) completed all substantive in four previous fiscal year meetings. There were no meetings in FY2017; however, the report was finalized and delivered to the Secretary of Agriculture during the first quarter of this fiscal year (12/2016). Cost associated for this committee's activities to the complete the report and initiate the charter renewal.


Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety*NoAction Reorganize Priorities*Yes
Outcome Trust In GovernmentYesAction Reallocate ResourcesYes
Outcome Major Policy ChangesYesAction Issued New RegulationsNo
Outcome Advance In Scientific ResearchYesAction Proposed LegislationNo
Outcome Effective Grant MakingNoAction Approved Grants Or Other PaymentsNo
Outcome Improved Service DeliveryYesAction OtherYes
Outcome Increased Customer SatisfactionYesAction CommentThe AC21 did not propose new legislation but made several recommendations for USDA actions that are likely to require new legal authorities in order for USDA to implement them. These will also likely entail the rulemaking process. Additionally, the AC21 did not perform any grant reviews. However, it did make recommendations for USDA research activities which will entail USDA review of grants in those areas.
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg RequirementsYesGrants Review*No
Outcome OtherNoNumber Of Grants Reviewed0
Outcome CommentMuch of the AC21's work prior to 2011 was fact-finding and there were few actual policy recommendations to be implemented. The committee report issued on November 19, 2012 offered significant new policy recommendations.Number Of Grants Recommended0
Cost Savings*NoneDollar Value Of Grants Recommended$0.00
Cost Savings CommentThe committee's work has not been directed toward cost saving.Grants Review CommentNot Applicable
Number Of Recommendations*12Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentTotal # of recommendations for the life of the committee = 12. The AC21's December 2016 report contained seven major numbered recommendations. 5 previous recommendations from the December 2012 report.Access Agency WebsiteNo
% of Recs Fully Implemented*0.00%Access Committee WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentNAAccess GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*100.00%Access PublicationsNo
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentPortions of each of the 5 major recommendations from 2012 have been implemented: USDA has completed or begun implementation of nearly all recommended activities that it currently has the authority to implement. Because the recommendations vary widely in scope, duration, and impact, and some require new legal authority, it is difficult to provide a meaningful response at the level of sub-recommendations.Access OtherNo
Agency Feedback*YesAccess CommentN/A
Agency Feedback Comment*Because the report addresses activities of multiple USDA agencies, feedback about committee recommendations has come from the Office of the Secretary. The Secretary has indicated his intent to see how USDA can implement the recommendations, and the AC21 is being kept apprised on progress in their implementation.Narrative Description*The AC21 considers broad topics and issues that have arisen or will arise as agricultural biotechnology is used in the future. Though the AC21 is supported by USDA's Agricultural Research Service, it has focused thus far on identifying or clarifying such topics and issues for the whole of USDA, which can lead to better prioritization, policies, and resource allocations for the Department. Because of the broad range of opinions represented on the committee, few recommendations emerged in the past. However, in 2011 the Bylaws and Operating Procedures were changed to encourage the development of recommendations for USDA. The last reports with substantive recommendations were released on December 2012 and December 2017.
Hide Section - COSTS


Payments to Non-Federal Members*$0.00Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Members*$0.00Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Staff*$13,000.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$0.00
Payments to Consultants*$0.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$0.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$0.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Other Costs$300.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$0.00
Total Costs$13,300.00Est. Total Next FY*$0.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*0.10Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY*0.00
Cost RemarksEst Cost Remarks
Hide Section - Interest Areas

Interest Areas

No interest areas selected for this committee.


To View all the members, meetings and advisory reports for this committee please click here




ActionCommittee System IDSubcommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-0294441. Size and Scope of Risks2017
 COM-0281632. Potential Compensation Mechanisms2017
 COM-0297343. Tools and Standards to Verify Eligibility and Losses2017
 COM-0288794. Who Pays2017


No Documents Found



Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-003067Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2016
 COM-003292Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2015
 COM-005243Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2014
 COM-006375Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2013
 COM-006421Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2012
 COM-007590Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2011
 COM-009031Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2010
 COM-010481Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2009
 COM-011392Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2008
 COM-012197Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2007
 COM-012401Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2006
 COM-014254Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2005
 COM-014581Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2004
 COM-016050Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture2003