BARDA, Department of Defense, and SAb Biotherapeutics to Partner to Develop a Novel COVID-19 Therapeutic
Published by Medical Counter Measures
A therapeutic to treat novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is moving forward in development through a partnership between BARDA, the Department of Defense Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense (JPEO – CBRND), and SAb Biotherapeutics, Inc. (SAb), of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Using an interagency agreement with JPEO’s Medical CBRN Defense Consortium, BARDA transferred approximately $7.2 million in funding to (JPEO – CBRND) to support SAb to complete manufacturing and preclinical studies, with an option to conduct a Phase 1 clinical trial.
April 22, 2019
What U.S. dairy farmers of today are doing to preserve our environment
I’ve had the honor of working with dairy farmers for years, and a lot of what you think about them is true. They’re modest. They’re connected to the earth. And they work incredibly hard. Every day, they’re up before dawn, working 12 and 14-hour days, whether it’s 90 degrees out or 50 degrees below zero.
They choose this hard work because they believe in the importance of providing nutritious, great-tasting food, like the milk in your child’s glass or the slice of cheese on her favorite sandwich.
What you might not know is that dairy farmers are working just as hard to ensure our children inherit a healthy planet. They know it’s the right thing to do. And when 95% of dairy farms are family-owned, they do it to ensure the land is there for their children.
But the issues facing our planet require more than just individual action, which is why the U.S. dairy community has made sustainability an industry-wide priority. Years’ worth of investments, research — and, yes, hard work — have allowed us to address critical environmental issues, like climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.
Dairy farmer and environmental scientist Tara Vander Dussen with her family on their farm, Rajen Dairy. (Photo: Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy)
Ten years ago, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy — created by dairy farmers to identify best practices and unite around common goals — established a voluntary yet aggressive goal for the industry. The U.S. dairy community would reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity 25% by 2020.
Today, we are on track to meet that goal.
In making the investments necessary to meet the goal set, U.S. dairy farmers have become global leaders in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to a report earlier this year from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Climate Change and the Global Dairy Cattle Sector, North American dairy farmers are the only ones who have reduced both total GHG emissions and intensity over the last decade.
Dairy farmer and nutritionist Rosemarie Burgos-Zimbelman, who has dedicated her life to dairy nutrition. (Photo: Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy)
It’s not just greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. dairy farmers work more closely with animals than just about anyone, and they know that while they are taking care of the cows, the cows are taking care of them. That’s why they created the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program, the first internationally-certified animal welfare program in the world.
The U.S. dairy community’s commitment to sustainability isn’t new. It has been going on for generations. Indeed, producing milk now uses fewer natural resources than it ever has before. Over the course of the lifetime of today’s average dairy farmer, producing a gallon of milk now requires 65% less water, 90% less land and 63% less carbon emissions.
While progress has been made, there is still a lot to be done. That’s why the U.S. dairy community and dairy farmers are committed to identifying new solutions, technologies and partnerships that will continue to advance our commitment to sustainability.
So why do America’s dairy farmers work so hard to farm more sustainably? Why spend countless hours looking for innovative ways to be more efficient when they’ve already put in a 14-hour day?
It’s not because anyone told them to, or because regulation forced them to. It’s because so many of them are farming land their families have been farming for generations. They know they’re just the latest people entrusted as stewards of the earth. Farmers came before them, and farmers will come after them. Sure, they have more information than any of their predecessors did, and they are now tackling challenges, from climate change to global trade, that their forefathers could scarcely dream of. But the responsibility of today’s dairy farmer — leaving the planet better than they found it — is no different.
This Earth Day, and every day, America’s dairy farmers are living up to that responsibility. May they never tire.
Vilsack is the former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and the current president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.
Maine Public Radio: As Weeds Outsmart The Latest Weedkillers, Farmers Are Running Out Of Easy Options
There was a moment, about 20 years ago, when farmers thought that they’d finally defeated weeds forever.
Biotech companies had given them a new weapon: genetically engineered crops that could tolerate doses of the herbicide glyphosate, also known by its trade name, Roundup. Farmers could spray this chemical right over their crops, eliminate the weeds, and the crops were fine.
Stanley Culpepper remembers that moment. He’d left his family’s farm to study weed science at North Carolina State University. “I was trained by some really, really amazing people,” he says, “and I was even trained that there would never be a weed that was resistant to Roundup.”
These scientists believed that plants couldn’t become immune to Roundup because it required too big of a change in a plant’s biology.
Earlier this year, the Maine Legislature passed a bill that will force onerous food labeling requirements on farmers and grocers that sell products that contain genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs. Despite the complete lack of scientific basis for such a law, and despite the fact that Maine’s attorney general testified the bill would likely not stand up to constitutional scrutiny, legislators cowed to special interest pressure and passed this anti-business bill anyway.
But what happens when the concept of GMO labeling is left to the actual citizenry to decide?
When voters are asked to weigh in on forced GMO labeling requirements, the results are the same over and over. Citizens in California and, more recently, in Washington state rejected attempts to mandate GMO labeling. Why? Because they understand that ultimately the cost of this unnecessary legislation will fall on them.
Voters last month in Washington rejected the idea that they should be forced to pay more for their groceries in order to satisfy the preferences of a small group of people. Equipped with the understanding that everyone already has the ability to decide whether or not to consume GMO products, voters rejected the effort by the organic food lobby to inflate the price of traditionally-grown products in order to grab more market share.
Washington and California are two very liberal states, not prone to coddle the business community. Nevertheless, both states rejected forced GMO labeling laws.
The Los Angeles Times editorialized against forced GMO labeling, saying, “On genetically engineered food, let the market decide.” And the Seattle Times editorialized against labeling as well, calling the effort a “clumsy, emotion-based campaign to require labeling of selective food products containing genetically modified organisms.”
It’s common sense, after all: If you don’t like GMO products, you don’t have to buy them. We don’t need to create more bureaucracy and higher operational costs for our already-struggling farmers and retailers. Organic food producers have the freedom to label their products GMO-free, and many do. Consumers already have the freedom to choose.
And there is no scientifically compelling argument to be made against the consumption of GMO products. From the World Health Organization to the American Medical Association to the Food and Drug Administration, the consensus is clear: GMO crops are as safe for human consumption and the environment as conventional and organic crops.
In fact, GMO methodology has been credited with saving literally millions of lives through the increased production of staple food products around the world, and pioneers of these practices have even received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.
Farmers can now produce more crops in an environmentally sustainable way at a lower cost thanks to the science of biotechnology. The benefits of this technology are so real that genetically modified crops are now planted on nearly a quarter of the world’s farm land by more than 17 million farmers.
We need to find better methods of food production now more than ever. By the year 2050 — for many of us, that’s within our lifetime — we’ll need to double food production to feed 9 billion people. To meet this challenge, we must embrace modern food production, not shun it.
The worst thing we could do is stigmatize modern farming and genetically improved food products with warning labels that are meant to scare rather than inform. The absolute most horrible thing we can do is force those labels on our own citizens and make them pay more for their groceries than anywhere else in the country.
From editorial page writers to farmers, from pediatricians to government researchers, and from small-town grocers to American voters, there is strong consensus that forced GMO labeling bills are unwarranted.
It’s unfortunate the Maine legislature wasn’t listening.
Gordon Colby has worked in Maine’s blueberry industry for more than 25 years and is a resident of Waldoboro.
Legislative Updates from around the Northeast.
New Hampshire just rejected a GMO Labeling bill in 2014.
Vermont did not pass labeling a bill in 2013.
“With time ticking down in this year’s Vermont Legislative session, it’s becoming clear that lawmakers won’t pass a bill requiring labels on genetically modified food before wrapping up their work for 2013.”
Full story here: