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Iowa Staters talk biofuels, healthy oils and 'pharma crops' at AAAS meeting
Date:2/16/2008

AMES, Iowa Theres more to biofuels than the food vs. fuel debate and talk of the various technologies associated with biofuels production.

And so Steven Fales, a professor of agronomy and a member of the Science and Engineering Board of Iowa States Bioeconomy Institute, organized and moderated a three-hour symposium on Friday, Feb. 15, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.

The title of the discussion was, Energy, Agriculture, and People: Global Implications for Science and Policy.

We thought it would be appropriate to take a big picture view of issues regarding energy and agriculture that go beyond the science and technology, Fales said.

And so there were presentations about climate change, production of biofuel crops on marginal lands, the effects of biofuel production on the poor, the ethics of using agriculture for energy production and the politics associated with renewable energy.

Fales said the idea was to mirror the global theme of the annual meeting and acknowledge that biorenewable issues extend beyond energy into many other concerns of society.

Two other researchers with ties to Iowa State also made presentations during the AAAS annual meeting Feb. 14-18:

Robert Wisner, a recently retired University Professor of agricultural economics, addressed a 90-minute symposium on Friday, Feb. 15, titled, Drugs in our Corn Flakes" Our Health and the Economic Risks of Pharma and Industrial Crops.

Wisners talk addressed the economics of growing crops with medicinal traits engineered into them. Key economic issues include the risks of co-mingling medical drugs and industrial chemicals with the food supply and the alternatives for controlling that risk. But those arent the only economic issues he identified. Others were determining the real and long-term costs and benefits of pharma crops, identifying who gains from the crops and learnin
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Contact: Mike Krapfl
mkrapfl@iastate.edu
515-294-4917
Iowa State University
Source:Eurekalert

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