On September 22, 1999, Chad Holliday, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for DuPont announced his company’s intention to form an independent panel “to guide our actions, help us create positions on important issues, and guide and challenge us in the development, testing and commercialization of new products based on biotechnology.” Since that time, a prestigious Panel of individuals from around the world has been convened. The group has met five times over two and a half years to exchange information and opinions on various aspects of biotechnology.
The Biotechnology Advisory Panel represents a diversity of international interests, academic and vocational expertise, and cultural backgrounds. All are cautiously optimistic about the potential good biotechnology can do as the world struggles with how to deliver safe and nutritious food to the world's populations while decreasing the use of chemical pesticides. At the same time, the Panel members are well aware of the unknowns and potential downsides associated with biotechnology. It is part of their role to raise such issues, push DuPont's thinking on these issues, and to help problem solve where appropriate. Panel members believe companies and countries need to work cooperatively in an effort toward sustainable development and with a strong commitment for core values that guide use of new technology; that it is important to draw on a diversity of experience in order to navigate historical mistakes and to properly address future problems; and that this type of interactive dialogue can have value for the multi-national corporation as well as for the regions of the world represented on the Advisory Panel.
The Panel is comprised of 5-8 individuals who will serve a period of time and then rotate off the Panel to allow for new perspectives to have a seat at the table. Panel members travel expenses are covered and members are offered a small honorarium for the time they spend in meetings.