ASU professor tapped for USDA genetics panel

April 5, 2007

By hammersmith

[Source: Ty Young, Business Journal of Phoenix] — An Arizona State University professor has been appointed to a federal panel that will make recommendations about the future of genetically engineered agricultural products. Guy Cardineau from ASU’s Biodesign Institute and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture. The 18-member board was created in 2003 to investigate the potential uses and further developments in agricultural biotechnology.

Cardineau has been involved with numerous agricultural biotechnology patents, including insect-resistant corn and herbicide-tolerant cotton. He is responsible for the first plant-made vaccine, which was made from tobacco, and is working on similar tomato-based pharmaceuticals for the plague and Norwalk disease. “I understand the technology and am not afraid of it,” he said in a statement. “Science is a big, dark room, and people are very often afraid of the dark. I do believe the technology is beneficial, and I think it’s safe, but I understand there are issues to it.”

With more than 50 agricultural biotechnology-based patents affiliated with his work, the university is proud to have Cardineau on board, said Gary Marchant, an ASU law professor and executive director of the law, science and technology center. “It will confirm his status as one of the nation’s leading experts on the science, policy and law of biotechnology,” he said in a statement. “And the experience and knowledge he gains from participating in the deliberations on biotechnology policy at the highest levels in the U.S. government will further benefit our students.”

Cardineau is a former researcher for Dow AgroSciences and has more than 20 years working with agricultural biotechnology. Because of his history in both academia and industry, he understands the value of the research and the economic potential of the science, Cardineau told The Business Journal recently. “I’ve seen it from both sides,” he said. “There is definitely more to it than just keeping the science in the lab. You have to put it to use.” Cardineau joined The Biodesign Institute in 2002 and the law college in 2003.