Padilla Announces Findings and Recommendations of Bipartisan National Biotech Commission’s First Public Report
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), a Commissioner of the bipartisan U.S. National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology, announced that the commission has issued its first round of findings and recommendations for policymakers in a report outlining the promise of biotechnology for U.S. national security and economic competitiveness and growth. Padilla was appointed to serve as a Congressional Commissioner of the bipartisan group when Congress formed it in 2022.
“California is the birthplace of the U.S. biotechnology industry and has long led the way in biotech research, patents, and innovation that saves lives, stimulates our economy, and creates good-paying jobs,” said Senator Padilla. “At this crucial moment in the future of biotechnology, our commission will continue to examine opportunities to ensure this sector advances vital American priorities such as managing global diseases, improving agricultural sustainability and food security, and protecting our national security.”
“Recent advances in biotechnology are unlocking the ability to program biology just as we program computers. Emerging biotechnologies could enable the world to improve human and planetary health, secure food and energy production, ensure supply chain resiliency, and grow the economy at a massive scale. Biotechnology has the potential to bolster economic development in every community. If we capitalize on this unique opportunity, we can make this century the age of biology,” wrote the Commissioners in the report. “A thriving biotechnology industry will enhance U.S. national security, strengthen and diversify the U.S. economy, and bolster a growing workforce. The Commission’s recommendations, when implemented, will ensure that the United States continues to lead the world in biotechnology development and deployment.”
“The convergence of decades of U.S. leadership in biotechnology innovation with newer advances in AI/ML put us on the cusp of transformational change. In the next ten years, we could see these technologies working together to unlock the cures to previously incurable diseases, to develop new crops and foods that will secure our food supply for the future, and to create new materials we could previously only imagine,” said Chairman Dr. Jason Kelly. “Biotech is going to have its ‘ChatGPT moment’ soon and we’re working to ensure U.S. companies and researchers get there first.”
“Emerging biotechnology has already solved myriad challenges in human and planetary health. Working in national security for a decade, I’ve seen how biotechnology can also solve problems for our warfighters and enhance our military supply chain security. We are entering an Age of Biology in which U.S. leaders must embrace this potential and protect against potential misuse,” said Vice Chair Dr. Michelle Rozo.
Congress created the U.S. National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology in the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act, and the Commission began its work in 2023. This Interim Report to Congress describes the Commission’s work over its first year and announces the Commission’s first public recommendations. In addition to reviewing findings so far, the Commissioners made several legislative recommendations that are ready for Congressional action in this year’s Farm Bill reauthorization.
In addition to Senator Padilla, the bipartisan Commission includes Chairman Dr. Jason Kelly, Vice Chair Dr. Michelle Rozo, and Commissioners Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), Representative Stephanie Bice (R-Okla.-05), Representative Ro Khanna (D-Calif.-17), Paul Arcangeli, Dr. Angela Belcher, Dawn Meyerriecks, Dr. Eric Schmidt, Dr. Alexander Titus, and Dr. Dov Zakheim.