Biotech scientists, industry leaders gather in St. Louis

St. Louis – About 600 scientists, policymakers, and industry representatives are gathering in St. Louis this week to discuss advances in agricultural genetic engineering.

The Congress of the International Association for Plant Biotechnology draws participants from all over the world.

Association president and director of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, says the meeting has several goals.

"One is to get the community of scientists together to talk about work in their laboratory, or hear about work in other labs, and establish some collaborations," says Beachy.

Beachy says the Congress also gives academic researchers the opportunity to talk with biotech company representatives about turning research discoveries into commercial agricultural products.