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DuPont Biotechnology website

Biotechnology Advisory Panel Report: Cover Letter

August 2002

In September, 1999, Chad Holliday, Chairman and CEO of DuPont, publicly stated that "we will create a global, biotechnology advisory 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. We will also ask this panel to audit our progress and provide a public report on a regular basis."

Since that time, an advisory panel has been formed and has met five times. The attached is the first panel report and provides information in three areas:

  • Background information regarding the panel and the current membership.
  • The panel's consensus assessment regarding their participation on the panel.
  • Individual perspectives from each of the panel members regarding their particular areas of interest and expertise as they relate to biotechnology.

The report was written by The Keystone Center as a consensus document based on input from all of the panel members. In addition, The Keystone Center serves as a 3rd party, neutral facilitator for the panel.

In transmitting this report, the panel members asked DuPont to provide their comments on the panel. The following represents comments from several of the DuPont participants in panel meetings:

"The panel provides an insightful dialogue around the global development and acceptance of biotechnology by providing an array of perspectives. The openness and mutual respect among the panel provides an opportunity to understand the basis and thinking behind some of the cautious views about biotechnology. This helpful dialogue often suggests constructive approaches to involve other stakeholders." Howard Minigh - Group Vice President, DuPont Agriculture and Nutrition

"The panel members have openly shared their expertise and have discussed with passion the benefits and risks of products from genetic engineering. Because of their questions and insights, I have gained a renewed appreciation for having a dialogue with stakeholders about biotechnology, especially with the stakeholders in the locales where biotech crops are grown and processed." Rick McConnell - President, Pioneer Hi-Bred

"The guidance and counsel of the panel is invaluable to us. We're a 200 year-old science company that has done a lot of things well, but when it comes to fully appreciating the issues and concerns related to biotechnology, we need the expertise and wisdom of the panel. They challenge us, we listen and we learn from what we hear so we can act differently." Jane Brooks - Vice President, DuPont Biotechnology

"While I'm excited and confident about the potential contributions of biotechnology to mankind, I also respect the need to introduce new science safely. The unique, diverse, global perspectives of our panel members have helped our company, and me personally, see and understand key issues at a very different level. Their insights are an important part of our decision-making process. I can't imagine making an important decision in this arena without fully understanding their perspectives. On a more personal level, I feel privileged to know these men and women who have made such important contributions in their fields." John Himes - Senior Vice President, DuPont Corporate Strategy

"The panel has done an outstanding job of providing us with a broad spectrum of reasoned views and positions regarding agricultural biotechnology. Through extended dialogue and discussion of critical concerns the panel has assisted in our making the best informed decisions. In sum, the very wide and diverse expertise of our panel and their willingness to share has proven invaluable in making development decisions about agricultural applications of an enabling technology." Terry Medley - Vice President, DuPont Nutrition and Health

"Working with the panel continues to re-emphasize the importance of broad stakeholder engagement to ensure diverse viewpoints are brought to bear on the most important issues affecting the acceptance or rejection of biotechnology. The panel has challenged and stretched us and brought thoughtful perspectives to difficult issues." Paul Tebo - Vice President, DuPont Safety, Health and Environment.