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Speaker Information

Ania M. Wieczorek, Ph.D.

Ania Wieczorek leads the extension program on the use of biotechnology in agriculture at UHM, in addition to running a research program. Her educational background is in the application of molecular biology techniques, initially in the field of cancer research, and more recently to address ecological questions. She has worked on Nile crocodiles, African reed frogs, lizards, salamanders and plants, the latter as a post-doctoral researcher at Cornell University. Her current research is aimed at management of invasive species in Hawaii. The extension program that Ania manages, aims to provide the people of Hawaii with a reliable source of information on the use of biotechnology in agriculture.

Donna R. Ching, Ph.D.

Donna has been an Extension Specialist in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Hawaii-Manoa since 1987. During that time, she has enjoyed working with a variety of non-profit, for-profit, and community organizations providing workshops in the area of group process, leadership and strategic planning. In her role as a practioner, Donna facilitates community meetings and organizational strategic planning.

Robert Paull, Ph.D

Robert Paull is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he has been a faculty member for 22 years. He graduated from the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia and received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, California. He conducts research on the impact of preharvest environmental and postharvest handling factors on tropical horticultural commodity quality and the application of biotechnology and genetically altered crops to improve commodity quality. Besides membership in Professional Societies, he serves on as a Campus Senator.

Richard Manshardt

Professor of Horticulture, Department of Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences/CTAHR, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Tropical fruit breeder and geneticist, specializing in papaya improvement. Co-developer of 'SunUp' and 'Rainbow' papaya varieties with genetically engineered resistance to papaya ringspot virus.

Janet McDonald, Ph.D

Janet is a Public Affairs Specialist with the San Francisco District of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a position that she has held since 1986. She holds a BS degree in Institution Management and Dietetics from Simmons College in Boston, completed a Dietetic Internship at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, and has a PhD degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley. In her capacity as Public Affairs Specialist, she serves as the first line of communication between FDA and the general public, including the media. Her principle responsibility is public education in all matters pertaining to FDA. Janet is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Dietetic Association, American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Food Technologists

Sylvia Rowe

Sylvia received a Bachelor's Degree from Wellesley College and was awarded a Masters Degree from Harvard University, both with honors. She is president and chief executive officer of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and the IFIC Foundation, in Washington, DC. IFIC and the IFIC Foundation are nonprofit organizations that communicate science-based information on food safety and nutrition issues to health professionals, journalists, government officials, educators and consumers. IFIC's programs are primarily supported by the broad-based food, beverage and agricultural industries. Rowe's background in media and expertise in issues management are reflected in her professional history as a producer and on-air host of several television and radio talk shows covering social, political, economic and consumer issues. She also previously held positions in public relations, marketing, and membership development for the American Tort Reform Association, the American Association of University Women, and The Sugar Association.

Tane Datta

Tane graduated Guilford College with a BS in Geology and a minor in Environmental Studies and Alternative Energy. He has spent 20 years developing a farm in Honaunau which produces salad mix, herbs, edible flowers, medicinal plants and tree crops using intensive certified organic management. Under the name Adaptations Inc., crops from his farm and approximately 20 other farms are marketed to hotels and upper end restaurants throughout Hawaii. He has worked with many organic organizations including Hawaii Organic Farmers Association , Organic Materials Review Institute, Independent Organic Inspectors Association and Oregon Tilth. He is an environmentalist dedicated to ecological community development. His first writing on biotech crop issues was at the request of the editor of "Agriculture Hawaii". In an unusual move, this article was censured by Board of the magazine and latter printed by Hawaii Island Journal.

Aurora Saulo, Ph.D

Aurora is Extension Specialist in Food Technology in the Department of Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa, She provides leadership to Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific commercial food processors and the foodservice industry in food science and technology through certification courses, workshops, on-site consultations, research projects, media involvement, and training programs. Her areas of interest include food safety, food sanitation, risk communication, consumer attitudes and behavior, and product and process development.

Britt Bailey

Ms. Britt Bailey is a Senior Associate at the Center for Ethics and Toxics in Gualala, CA. In that capacity, she has researched and written a number of key articles for major media outlets including the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle concerning the misuse of herbicides, transgenic crops, and the ethics of biotechnology. She co-authored Against the Grain: Biotechnology and the Corporate Takeover of Your Food (Common Courage Press, 1998) and is the producer of Against the Grain: The Video (The Video Project,1999). She is the Senior Editor of Engineering the Farm (Island Press, forthcoming) and co-author of Cutting DNA (Common Courage Press, forthcoming). Britt holds a Masters degree in Environmental Policy and is a graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio. She lives on California's North Coast.

Eden Peart

Eden is a farmer and school librarian. GE Free Hawaii activist since 1999. Concerns about genetic engineering's threat to the web of life led Ms. Peart to attend a USDA/Monsanto sponsored teacher training, galvanizing her committment to educate herself and others and to monitor biotech activity in Hawaii. Peart represents Moku Loa Group Sierra Club Chapter and is a recent board member of Hawaii Organic Farmer's Association. Ms. Peart acts as a Hawaii liason for the National Family Farm Coalition's Farmer to Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering.

Ronald Mau, Ph.D

Ron is an extension specialist and professor. He has extension responsibilities for all crops except ornamental horticultural crops. He presides as research and extension coordinator of a multidisciplinary project on the tomato spotted wilt virus and is State extension IPM coordinator. His primary research interests include basic and applied investigations on tropical crop pests, particularly vegetables, papaya, macadamia, and guava. His current research projects include the management of the tomato spotted wilt disease in vegetable crops, evaluation of cross protection of the papaya ringspot virus, and management of the melon thrips, Thrips palmi.

David Letourneau

David has been an organic consumer, farmer, volunteer, inspector, consultant, commodities broker, activist and policy maker beginning over 30 years ago. As Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee of the Board of Directors of the California Certified Organic Farmers, CCOF, he was asked to investigate genetic engineering technology and genetically modified organisms and their effects on organic farming, human health and the environment in 1997. He have been involved in this investigation since. He is at present an organic agriculture advisor on the Big Island and a co-founder of HI GEAN, Hawaii Genetic Engineering Action Network.

Mark Wright, Ph.D

Mark is an assistant professor / extension specialist in the Department of Plant & Environmental Protection Sciences, UHM. He worked on IPM in vegetable crop system in Africa, addressing problems of subsistence farmers and commercial farmers. Since leaving Africa, he worked on biological control of corn pests at Cornell University, and then moved to UH, where he conducts research and extension on integrated pest management of pests of tropical fruit and nut crops. His primary research interests are development of environmentally compatible pest management strategies, with emphasis on biological control and insect ecology.

Michael Schechtman, Ph.D

Michael received a B.A. from Harvard University in Biochemical Sciences, a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Cornell University, did postdoctoral work in the Biology Department, Stanford University, and was formerly a member of the biology faculty at Syracuse University.
He serves as Biotechnology Coordinator for the office of the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. He was Executive Secretary of USDA's Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology, and will hold a similar role for the upcoming Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture. He was formerly Team Leader for Policy and Senior Microbiologist, in the Regulatory Coordination and Technical Documentation unit at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at USDA, working on regulatory policy coordination and development regarding organisms produced through biotechnology both domestically and internationally. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Biosafety Protocol negotiations under the Convention on Biological Diversity. He is also on the External Board of Directors of the US Agency for International Development Agricultural Biotechnology for Sustainable Productivity Project.

Kimberly Clark

Kimberly D. Clark, Ph.D. is owner-operator of Just Add Water, a 6 year old Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program growing, teaching and cooperatively marketing organic products for a dozen farms, including her own ¼ acre garden. As founding board member of Hawai`i Organic Farmers Association (HOFA), she was the O`ahu coordinator for 6 years, and as trustee recently made a presentation on organic egg production to the Hawai`i Egg Producers Association. She received her doctorate in agricultural economics from University of Hawai`i at Manoa (UHM) College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) in 1993, specializing in integrated systems and ecological economics. She recently established a children?s activity garden at the CTAHR Waimanalo Research Station, which provides public school children with hands-on experiences in nature, Native Hawaiian values, and nutrition through gardening. She is also developing a community garden and market in Waimanalo as a summer program. She is dedicated to the organic movement to preserve culture, health and the wonder of nature.

Delan Perry

Delan has been born and raised in Honolulu. Graduate of University of Cal, Berkeley, 1970. Farmer on Big Island since 1974 growing first vegetables and later a variety of fruits such as citrus, bananas, coffee, and, now, mostly papayas. Presently, President of the Big Island Farm Bureau, Hilo Farm Bureau, Big Island Banana Growers Association, and the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association. Was active in the commercialization of the Transgenic papaya as PAC Research and Development Chair for 7 years and made initial contact with the technology licenses holders, including ground breaking agreement in Saint Louis with Monsanto. The first experimental planting of Rainbow, that preceded US deregulation and overwhelming grower adoption was on our farm.

Richard McCormack

Richard works for Pioneer Hi-Bred on Oahu and sits of the Board of Directors for the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (HCIA). He has a BS degree from University of Connecticut and an MBA from University of Hawaii. He has worked in the agricultural community in Hawaii for over twenty five years.

Howard Yamasaki

Howard has been born in Olaa and raised in Waimea on the Big Island (has lived in Hawaii entire life). He is coffee and Macadamia Nut Farmer in Kona for last 23 years.
Currently, he is serving as a Director for the Hawaii Coffee Association, Kona Coffee Council, Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, and he also is President of the Kona County Farm Bureau.

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