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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Linda Thrane

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

The Council for Biotechnology Information communicates science-based information about the benefits and safety of agricultural and food biotechnology. Its members are the leading biotechnology companies and trade associations.

Plant biotechnology is already helping provide the world with more and better food while protecting the environment. And this new technology holds even more promise in the future. That means better quality of life for real people with real appetites and real needs.

Through our award-winning Web site, the Council for Biotechnology Information is committed to bringing you the facts about these exciting new developments ó complete with footnotes and hyperlinks to scientific research and other information. Thatís our pledge to be a credible source of information about plant biotechnology.

On our Web site youíll find stories about:

How biotechnology could one day help people lead healthier lives through the development of new products such as cancer-fighting tomatoes and oils with reduced levels of saturated fats.

How biotechnology can help boost farm yields and improve diets in poor, developing parts of the world.

How biotechnology is helping to improve the environment by reducing plowing and the need for spraying, thus curbing erosion, conserving fuel and preserving wildlife habitat.

How biotechnology has become one of the most rapidly adopted technologies in the history of agriculture.

How biotechnology is improving farmersí bottom lines, whether itís a soybean farmer in Iowa, a cotton farmer in South Africa or a papaya farmer in Hawaii.

And how respected organizations from around the world have declared that foods developed with biotechnology are safe and hold great promise for improving diets and health.

Weíve divided the site into four broad audience categories ó Consumers, Farmers, Journalists and Teachers & Students ó so readers can quickly find information they need. There are also useful resources throughout the site such as the Benefits of Biotechnology PowerPoint presentation and the Plant Biotechnology Timeline.†† We welcome you to make use of them.

Yes, there are issues to resolve with biotechnology, some of them difficult. The council is committed to addressing concerns by deploying the best scientific research and other information in credible and understandable ways.† Our research tells us that the more people learn about biotechnology, the more they will welcome it into the marketplace.

We all can support a technology that can increase harvests and create products able to grow in drought-stricken and other inhospitable areas. We all care about giving farmers better tools to improve productivity and raise their living standards.† As an engine of economic growth, agriculture can help alleviate the poverty that still afflicts so much of the world, and biotechnology can help agriculture do its job.††

The world has just begun to see the benefits of this technology in a seed, but as more products reach the marketplace, those benefits will grow. Prime among them is the simple, but still elusive, benefit that comes when hungry people have enough to eat. And because many more biotech products in the pipeline offer more nutritious or tasty food, we all stand to benefit directly.

Research and development deserve and need to continue, governed by science-based, regulatory systems that ensure products reaching the market are safe for people, animals and the environment.

Please let us know what you think of our web site by contacting us via phone, mail or email. We welcome your comments, questions and ideas about farm and food biotechnology.

Thank you.

Linda Thrane Executive Director

(from http://www.whybiotech.com/index.asp?id=about)

Brief Biography

Linda Thrane has served as executive director of the Council for Biotechnology Information since November 2000. Supported by the leading biotechnology companies and trade associations, CBI is a leading voice throughout North America for credible, science-based information about plant biotechnology. The councilís integrated communications initiative is designed to help consumers better understand the benefits and safety of agricultural and food biotechnology and to contribute to an informed public debate about the issues it raises. Thrane comes to the job with a wealth of journalism and public affairs experience. She was most recently vice president of public affairs for Cargill, Inc., where she worked from 1991-2000. During that time, Thrane built a global public affairs program that was widely recognized as a leader in the food and ag industry. Thrane also was an editorial writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, associate director of the Minnesota Petroleum Council and a reporter for United Press International.

(from http://pewagbiotech.org/events/1121/bios/thrane.php)