DuPont’s Biotechnology Advisory Panel, a prestigious multinational group with diverse backgrounds, meets twice a year to exchange information and opinions on various aspects of biotechnology. Occasionally, the Panel also interacts electronically and via telephone on important issues.
In 1999, Charles O. Holliday, Jr., DuPont Chairman and CEO, described DuPont’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.”
The Biotechnology Advisory Panel members represent a diversity of international interests, academic and vocational expertise, and cultural backgrounds. All are cautiously optimistic about the good biotechnology can potentially do to help deliver safe and nutritious food to the world’s populations while decreasing the need for energy, labor, and agro-chemicals. 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 these concerns and push DuPont’s thinking on these issues. Panel members believe companies, communities, and governments need to work cooperatively in an effort toward sustainable development and that it is important to draw on a diversity of experience to navigate beyond historical mistakes and properly address future challenges. The Panel asserts that this type of interactive dialogue can have value for the multinational corporation as well as for the regions of the world represented on the Biotechnology Advisory Panel.
Panel membership varies from five to eight participants who serve for a period of time and then rotate off the Panel to allow for new perspectives to have a seat at the table. Panel members also receive an honorarium and reimbursement for travel and meeting expenses.