Thursday morning, the House Agriculture Committee held a public forum focused on the biotechnology product regulatory approval process. During the forum, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack focused his discussion on three areas: USDA’s Biotechnology regulatory program, challenges facing the biotechnology review process and roundup ready alfalfa. The Secretary said biotechnology provides farmers, ranchers, and growers a range of ways to meet consumer needs and preferences. But there are real, practical difficulties for some non-GE producers to meet the need of their markets. These conflicts have produced ongoing litigation and resulted in uncertainty for producers and technology innovators. The Secretary said these problems – must be addressed, so the potential contributions of all sectors of agriculture can be fully realized. Secretary Vilsack said USDA’s regulatory program, is not a static program. To farmers, ranchers, and growers, it is one that has grown and evolved as technology – often driven by the needs and demands of producers – has changed. The Secretary also defended USDA’s approach to GE Alfalfa. Vilsack said, – I want to reassure everyone that USDA will continue to adhere to a scientific, risk based decision making process and that our decisions will continue to be driven by science.