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L. Val Giddings

L. Val Giddings

Senior Fellow

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @prometheusgreen

L. Val Giddings is a senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

Giddings joined ITIF after nearly three decades of experience in science and regulatory policy relating to biotechnology innovations in agriculture and biomedicine. He works with ITIF to bring intellectual leadership to the examination of the constraints inhibiting innovations in these areas and devising remedies to those constraints.

Giddings is also president and CEO of PrometheusAB, Inc., providing consulting services in regulatory compliance, media, and strategic planning to governments, multilateral organizations, and industry clients in the United States and around the world. Before founding PrometheusAB, he served for eight years as vice president for food and agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). At BIO, Giddings built a highly regarded program representing global biotech companies in policy, regulation, media, and international affairs. Before joining BIO, he spent eight years with the biotech products regulatory division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). While with APHIS, he was international team leader and branch chief for science and policy coordination. During this time, he gained substantial international experience, serving on the U.S. delegations to negotiate the biodiversity treaty and to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Giddings arrived in Washington in 1984 to join the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, where he worked on studies related to biotechnology, the environment, and regulatory policy. He has also served as expert consultant to the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank, USDA, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and numerous companies, organizations, and governments around the world.

Giddings received his Ph.D. in genetics and evolutionary biology from the University of Hawaii in 1980.

Recent Publications

June 7, 2024

Mexico, Maize, and Food Sovereignty

Mexico's newly elected president, Claudia Sheinbaum, can reverse President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's anti-innovation policies toward genetically modified maize, and improve the lives of small farmers across Mexico.

March 19, 2024

Biotech Matters: Innovation in Agricultural Biotechnology

As L. Val Giddings writes for the Center for a New American Security, thanks to technological advances and sound policies, the United States quickly emerged as the global leader in agricultural biotechnology innovation.

February 23, 2024

Overcoming Obstacles to Gene-Edited Solutions to Climate Challenges

Gene editing and genetic modification hold enormous potential to deliver solutions to multiple climate change challenges. The most important rate-limiting obstacles impeding their development and deployment are not technical, but rather counterproductive policies and regulations. These are driven in part by the mistaken apprehension of widespread public opposition. These obstacles are described and solutions to overcoming them are presented.

February 23, 2024

Innovations Like These Will Help Solve the Climate Crisis: Introduction to “Synthetic Biology and Greenhouse Gases”

The landscape is rich with opportunities for gene-editing solutions to address many of the challenges of climate change. But which should be pursued first, and how can they best be galvanized?

August 22, 2023

Green Transition: How Agriculture Can Drive Climate Change Solutions

Trying to force the green transition with government regulations, subsidies, and exhortation will not work. The economic reality is that clean energy technologies must reach price/performance parity with dirty energy (P3).

August 4, 2023

Biological Solutions to Climate Challenges Deserve More Attention

Clean energy technologies need to reach price/performance parity with dirty energy—and biology may well be the most promising source for innovations that can achieve that goal.

January 27, 2023

Comments to OSTP Regarding Revisions to the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology

Biotechnologies have seen remarkable, rapid advances and the discovery and development of powerful new techniques. But nothing has changed that presents new or unique hazards, and the same steps long required to streamline and improve relevant regulations remain valid, albeit even more urgent than before.

December 30, 2022

2022 Delivered a Tectonic Shift in Perceptions of Agricultural Biotech

Determined not to repeat with gene editing the disastrous, self-inflicted injuries from their misguided regulation of genetic engineering, European scientists have been increasingly vocal in recent years arguing for a different, science-based approach.

September 14, 2022

Biden’s Bioeconomy Executive Order Is a Good Idea: The Implementation Plan Needs Work

Biden's new executive order bears the hallmarks of somebody who has been around the block and noticed all the things bureaucracies can do to delay, disrupt, and derail a president’s policies whether through ineptitude, inertia, or mischievous intent.

August 22, 2022

How Agrigenomics Can Help Address Climate Change

On February 7–8 a small group of researchers met at the National Academy of Sciences for an informal workshop on how to demonstrate proof of concept for biotech solutions to climate change and start to flesh out plans to implement them at scale. Here’s what they proposed.

July 6, 2022

Comments to the European Commission Regarding Regulation of Plants Produced With “New Genomic Techniques”

The European Commission is considering how to regulate products derived from gene editing and has solicited public comment, but the Commission missing a golden opportunity—again.

May 9, 2022

Ukraine, Food Security, and Biotechnology

Russian aggression in Ukraine means “hunger will haunt the world.” Recent increases in our understanding of biology have given us the most powerful tools we’ve ever had to address the challenges we face. But they are impeded by regulatory policies driven by fear rather than informed by science and experience.

More publications by L. Val Giddings

Recent Events and Presentations

November 23, 2022

The Journey to Sustainability: Managing a Transition For Food and Agricultural Sectors

Val Giddings presents on gene editing for climate change mitigation at an online sustainability webinar.

September 15, 2020

Gene Editing for the Climate: Biological Solutions for Curbing Greenhouse Emissions

Join ITIF for a presentation of a new report on gene-edited solutions for climate change and a panel discussion on the implications of these technologies.

November 15, 2019

“GMO-Free” Claims and False and Misleading Food Labels—Why Is FDA AWOL?

The Non-GMO Project label is now misleading consumers on more than 60,000 food items in U.S. grocery stores. Val Giddings tells the Food & Drug Law Institute it's time for FDA to enforce the law and puit an end to this illegal practice.

September 24, 2019

Tweaking Photosynthesis – Recent Advances & Implications

Val Giddings' presentation to the Breakthrough Institute at Ecomodernism 2019 explores research to improve the efficiency of photosynthesis and what this means for climate mitigation and the global economy.

March 21, 2019

Editing Genes & Genomes

In this briefing for congressional staff, Val Giddings introduces the topic of editing genes and genomes, touches on applications in both agriculture (animals and plants) and biomedicine, and then explores some of the far reaching policy implications.

March 14, 2019

Innovation, Precaution and Benefit-Cost Analysis – What Went Wrong with GMOs?

Val Giddings' presentation on a panel at the Society for Benefit Cost Analysis meeting argues that regulatory disincentives to innovation in agricultural biotechnology can be reduced by a return to fundamental principals of risk assessment and management, as longstanding U.S. Policy requires.

June 29, 2018

Gene Editing and GMOs - the Same or Different?

Val Giddings gave a presentation at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez on 29 June 2018. The relationship between GMOs and gene editing was discussed and their role in agricultural innovation and sustainability explored.

June 28, 2018

GMO's Enriching Lives Around the World

Val Giddings delivered a review of the impacts of crops improved through biotechnology in a public talk to the faculty and staff of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 28 June 2018.

June 13, 2018

How Not To Do Science Communication – Lessons from the Front Lines

Val Giddings presented at the International Consortium on Applied Bioeconomy Research Conference at The World Bank in Washington, DC.

July 12, 2017

Genetic Engineering: The Future of Agriculture and Public Health

For years, researchers have been developing genetic-engineering techniques to combat some of our most critical global challenges. Join ITIF for a discussion of these technologies, their promising applications, and the societal as well as policy challenges and opportunities they present.

February 24, 2017

Sugar, Food Safety, Sustainability & GMOs - Exploring a Complicated Landscape

In a presentation to the 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Outlook Forum, Val Giddings presents on biotechnology and how it has delivered significant innovations to improve the economics and sustainability of sugar production through improved sugar beets, and is poised to do the same with sugar cane.

January 8, 2017

“GM” Food Labels, Gene Editing, & the Future of Agriculture

In a presentation to the State Agricultural & Rural Leaders Legislative Agriculture Chairs Summit in Baton Rouge, LA, Val Giddings argued that the GMO labeling controversy has been rendered largely moot with the passage in 2016 of a mandatory federal disclosure requirement, though controversies can be expected as regulations to implement the law are developed.

More Events & Presentations by L. Val Giddings

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