The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an August 27-28, 2012, meeting of its Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) in Washington, D.C. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has specifically asked the committee to report on the types of compensation mechanisms that could be used “to address economic losses by farmers in which the value of their crop is reduced by the presence of GE [genetically engineered] material(s).” The committee will also discuss eligibility standards for triggering these mechanisms as well as other actions that may be appropriate “to bolster or facilitate coexistence among different agricultural systems in the United States.”  

According to USDA, “AC21 consists of members representing the biotechnology industry, the organic food industry, farming communities, the seed industry, consumer and community development groups, as well as academic researchers and a medical doctor.” Members of the public who wish to the attend the meeting must register in advance with USDA. See Federal Register, August 6, 2012.