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Syngenta CEO talks biotech at USDA Outlook Forum

Friday, February 27, 2009

Seed manufacturer Syngenta's CEO talked up biotechnolgoy at a USDA conference.
Seed manufacturer Syngenta's CEO talked up biotechnolgoy at a USDA conference.

The U.S. agricultural sector must use all of the tools in its toolbox, including biotechnology, to remain competitive in the global market, seed manufacturer Syngenta's chief executive said yesterday.

Speaking at the 2009 USDA Outlook Forum in Washington D.C. Thursday, Syngenta CEO Mike Mack said agricultural technology can boost global food security.

"In the face of persistent and growing global challenges, such as rising population, exacerbated by changing diets, limited farmland availability and more erratic climatic conditions, the need to ensure food security and environmental safety is essential," Mack said.

Drought conditions last year cost producers some $30 billion worth of crops at the same time as the demand for biofuels is taking off. Advanced seed technologies such as those used by Syngenta will be needed to feed more people, produce more fuel and fiber, while using less water and decreasing the carbon footprint of agriculture.

"We have just begun realizing the promise of agricultural technology," he said. "As amazing as the products we have already produced are, we are only at the early stages of the learning curve."
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