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Opening Statement of Ranking Member Jim Baird at Research & Technology Subcommittee Hearing on Bioengineering

Mar 12, 2019
Opening Statement

Thank you, Chairwoman Stevens for holding this hearing.   I am looking forward to working with you on the Research and Technology Subcommittee as the Ranking Member.

I am also glad that engineering biology and the bioeconomy is the subject of our first Subcommittee hearing of the year.

In my central Indiana district, the emerging bioeconomy presents an opportunity to expand and enable new markets in agriculture, energy and manufacturing.

From the basic research conducted at Purdue University to the development and application of that research by the more than 1,700 biology science businesses in the State, Indiana is on the forefront of biotechnology innovation.  

Humans have used biotechnology since the dawn of civilization, manipulating biology to improve plants and animals through hybridization and other methods. 

Since my days in a lab working towards my PhD in monogastric nutrition, there have been rapid advancements in scientific knowledge and technology that have given rise to the field of modern biotechnology– making useful products to meet human needs and demands.  

We have a distinguished panel of witnesses today who will help us understand the state of science in engineering biology and advise us on how to maintain U.S. leadership in biology innovation.  

I particularly want to thank our witness Dr. Kevin Solomon from Purdue University, my alma mater, for being here today.  I am very interested to learn more about your cutting-edge research on engineering biology in the gut microbiome of cattle and other livestock.   

I hope that today’s hearing will help inform a research and regulatory framework that continues to ensure safe and ethical development of biotechnology, without stifling innovation.

Thank you Madam Chairwoman, I yield back.

116th Congress