Information courtesy of Illinois Soybean Association. Regulatory roadblocks and divergent approval systems are slowing the biotechnology-driven yield advances needed to feed our growing world. Dozens of new transgenic events for crops are ready for registration this year, but the lack of a global, synchronized, science-based approval system prevents farmers from adopting new technologies, causes international trade disturbances and significantly reduces economic benefits for farmers and consumers worldwide.American Soybean Association (ASA) President Wade Cowan, First Vice President Richard Wilkins and Secretary Ron Moore joined than 100 biotechnology regulators, government officials, industry companies and organizations, international trade experts and farmers met in Bloomington, Ill., on Aug. 31 to listen and discuss the state of the regulatory system and its implications for the future of agricultural biotechnology.The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) hosted the symposium. Daryl Cates, soybean farmer from Columbia, Ill., and ISA chairman, says the farmer-led organization is committed to the future of biotech traits as keys to healthy and secure food for more people around the world.“Biotech crops mean food security for many countries around the world, and yet today’s biotechnology approval process is susceptible to international politics, making it volatile and inefficient,” says Daryl Cates, soybean farmer from Columbia, Ill., and ISA chairman. “We need a global, cohesive, science-based regulatory system so farmers can produce more food and nations can enjoy food security.””Genetic engineering is important to meeting the greatest challenge of our time: nourishing a growing population without further destroying the environment,” says keynote speaker Pamela Ronald, director, Laboratory for Crop Genetics Innovation at the University of California-Davis.Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, director of the Economics and Management Agrobiotechnology Center at the University of Missouri, told the attendees that delayed biotech trait approvals cost consumers and farmers billions of dollars. He says the timely introduction of new herbicide-tolerant soybean varieties is estimated to generate almost $40 billion in economic value across all soybean markets from 2015 to 2025. About 56 percent of the benefits would go to producers and 44 percent of the benefits to consumers. If regulatory approvals are delayed by three years, the economic benefit is cut nearly in half to $21 billion.Sponsors of the symposium included Penton Agriculture, DuPont Pioneer, the U.S. Soybean Export Council, Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto, FLM+, Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, Syngenta, National Corn Growers Association, National Soybean Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Bayer CropScience, Illinois Corn, Illinois Pork Producers Association and the National Association of Wheat Growers.