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107th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     107-422

======================================================================



 
               PLANT GENOME AND BIOTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

                                _______
                                

 April 30, 2002.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Boehlert, from the Committee on Science,submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2051]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Science, to whom was referred the bill (H.R. 
2051) to provide for the establishment of regional plant genome 
and gene expression research and development centers, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
   I. Amendment.......................................................2
  II. Purpose of the Bill.............................................3
 III. Background and Need for the Legislation.........................3
  IV. Summary of Hearings.............................................5
   V. Committee Actions...............................................6
  VI. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill.........................6
 VII. Section-By-Section Analysis (By Title and Section)..............7
VIII. Committee Views.................................................8
  IX. Cost Estimate..................................................10
   X. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate......................11
  XI. Compliance with Public Law 104-4 (Unfunded Mandates)...........12
 XII. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations...............13
XIII. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives..........13
 XIV. Constitutional Authority Statement.............................13
  XV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement...........................13
 XVI. Congressional Accountability Act...............................13
XVII. Statement on Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law.........13
XVIII.Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, As Reported..........13

 XIX. Committee Recommendations......................................13
  XX. Proceedings of Subcommittee Markup.............................14
 XXI. Proceedings of Full Committee Markup...........................28

                              I. Amendment

  The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act--
          (1) the term ``Director'' means the Director of the National 
        Science Foundation;
          (2) the term ``institution of higher education'' has the 
        meaning given such term in section 101 of the Higher Education 
        Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001); and
          (3) the term ``nonprofit organization'' means a nonprofit 
        research institute or a nonprofit association with experience 
        and capability in plant biotechnology research as determined by 
        the Director.

SEC. 2. MATCHING FUNDS.

  The Director may establish matching fund requirements for grantees to 
receive grants under this Act.

SEC. 3. PLANT GENOME AND GENE EXPRESSION RESEARCH CENTERS.

  (a) In General.--The Director shall award grants to consortia of 
institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations (or both) 
to establish regional plant genome and gene expression research 
centers. Grants shall be awarded under this section on a merit-
reviewed, competitive basis. When making awards, the Director shall, to 
the extent practicable, ensure that the program created by this section 
examines as many different agricultural environments as possible.
  (b) Purpose.--The purpose of the centers established pursuant to 
subsection (a) shall be to conduct research in plant genomics and plant 
gene expression. A center's activities may include--
          (1) basic plant genomics research and genomics applications, 
        including those related to cultivation of crops in extreme 
        environments and to cultivation of crops with reduced reliance 
        on fertilizer;
          (2) basic research that will contribute to the development or 
        use of innovative plant-derived products;
          (3) basic research on alternative uses for plants and plant 
        materials, including the use of plants as renewable feedstock 
        for alternative energy production and nonpetroleum-based 
        industrial chemicals and precursors; and
          (4) basic research and dissemination of information on the 
        ecological and other consequences of genetically engineered 
        plants.

SEC. 4. PARTNERSHIPS FOR PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD.

  (a) In General.--(1) The Director shall award grants to institutions 
of higher education, nonprofit organizations, or consortia of such 
entities to establish research partnerships for supporting the 
development of plant biotechnology targeted to the needs of the 
developing world. The Director, by means of outreach, shall encourage 
inclusion of Historically Black Colleges or Universities, Hispanic-
serving institutions, or tribal colleges or universities in consortia 
that enter into such partnerships.
  (2) In order to be eligible to receive a grant under this section, an 
institution of higher education or eligible nonprofit organization (or 
consortium thereof) shall enter into a partnership with one or more 
research institutions in one or more developing nations and may also 
include for-profit companies involved in plant biotechnology.
  (3) Grants under this section shall be awarded on a merit-reviewed 
competitive basis.
  (b) Purpose.--Grants awarded under this section shall be used for 
support of research in plant biotechnology targeted to the needs of the 
developing world. Such activities may include--
          (1) basic genomic research on crops grown in the developing 
        world;
          (2) basic research in plant biotechnology that will advance 
        and expedite the development of improved cultivars, including 
        those that are pest-resistant, produce increased yield, reduce 
        the need for fertilizers, or increase tolerance to stress;
          (3) basic research that could lead to the development of 
        technologies to produce pharmaceutical compounds such as 
        vaccines and medications in plants that can be grown in the 
        developing world; and
          (4) research on the impact of plant biotechnology on the 
        social, political, economic, and environmental conditions in 
        countries in the developing world.

SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Science 
Foundation $9,000,000 for fiscal year 2002, $13,500,000 for fiscal year 
2003, and $13,500,000 for fiscal year 2004 to carry out this Act.

  Amend the title so as to read:

    A bill to authorize the National Science Foundation to 
establish regional centers for the purpose of plant genome and 
gene expression research and development and international 
research partnerships for the advancement of plant 
biotechnology in the developing world.

                        II. Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of the bill is to authorize the National 
Science Foundation to establish regional centers for the 
purpose of plant genome and gene expression research and 
development and to provide grants to establish international 
research partnerships for the advancement of plant 
biotechnology in the developing world.

              III. Background and Need for the Legislation

    Basic research on plant biotechnology.--The National 
Science Foundation (NSF) has been at the forefront of research 
aimed at better understanding the molecular, genetic, and 
biochemical nature of plants. Developments based on this 
research have driven progress in the field of agricultural 
biotechnology--and thus are of tremendous interest to the 
agricultural community. NSF-funded research in this area, 
however, is in keeping with the agency's mission of basic 
research and therefore has focused primarily on efforts to 
better understand the fundamental biology of plants.
    One area of particular focus for NSF has been study of the 
plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which is a relative of plants such 
as broccoli and cauliflower. Arabidopsis has been used by 
scientists as a model organism for plant biology studies for 
many years, and an effort to sequence the entire Arabidopsis 
genome--analogous in many ways to the Human Genome Project--was 
completed in December 2000. That effort, part of NSF's Plant 
Genome Research Program, involved the work of a consortium of 
scientists from six different countries. NSF led the effort for 
the United States with support from the Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Energy (DOE).
    While having the complete DNA sequence of an organism is an 
important step in understanding how that organism functions, 
just knowing the sequence of all of an organism's genes is not 
enough to gain a full understanding of the organism. Central to 
scientists' efforts to better understand plants is a clearer 
understanding of what individual genes in the organism actually 
do--information that cannot be derived from DNA sequences 
alone. NSF recently launched a research program to determine 
the functions of all 25,000 Arabidopsis genes--the ``2010 
Project'', which began in FY 2001. Better understanding the 
specific roles of various plant genes and how they contribute 
to the overall function of the plant provides the foundation 
for all aspects of plant biotechnology.
    The promise of a program such as NSF's 2010 Project is in 
its ability to harness fundamental knowledge to solve 
additional research questions and, eventually, to help solve 
problems related to plant production and utilization. While 
understanding the biology of Arabidopsis will provide insight 
into the basic genetics and physiology of all plants, 
additional research is required to better understand the unique 
features of more complex plants including commercially-valuable 
crop plants such as corn and wheat. H.R. 2051 would expand 
NSF's support of genomics research to include newagriculturally 
important species and applications of the knowledge derived from 
studies of genomics.
    Food for the Developing World.--The ``Green Revolution'' of 
the 1960's is credited with saving a billion lives through the 
implementation of novel agricultural technologies--selective 
breeding and hybridization techniques, the introduction of 
inorganic fertilizers, and utilization of controlled irrigation 
procedures--in parts of the developing world. The Green 
Revolution, however, was not a permanent solution to feeding 
the ever-increasing world population. In his acceptance speech 
for the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Norman Borlaug cautioned 
that the Green Revolution had only ``won a temporary success in 
man's war against hunger'', given the globe's burgeoning 
population. While the world's population has grown 
significantly over the past four decades, natural resources and 
cropland have not. In addition, subsistence farming has led to 
mineral depletion, erosion, and increased salinity or acidity 
of much of that land. While technological developments have 
resulted in improved crop yields, many people in the developing 
world still go hungry every day.
    Biotechnology has already shown promise for producing 
plants that are more tolerant to drought or high soil salt 
levels, can resist insect, fungal, and viral infections, and 
improve the nutritional content of food. Also, since some 
staple crops of the African diet, such as the cassava tuber, 
have little or no nutritive value, enhancing the nutritional 
content of food could be a key weapon in the fight against 
malnutrition and disease. For example, the ``golden rice'' 
project, which involved the incorporation of genes able to lead 
to the production of vitamin A in rice, created a 
nutritionally-enhanced plant that could potentially reduce the 
effects--such as blindness--of endemic vitamin A deficiency in 
the developing world. Other nutritionally-enhanced food 
products, such as those with increased levels of cancer-
fighting compounds, for example, could also potentially be 
produced. Beyond plant-based production of pharmaceuticals, 
researchers are also using biotechnology to develop foods that 
are a direct source of edible vaccines. These vaccines are 
genetically incorporated into food plants, need no 
refrigeration, and require no sterilization equipment or 
needles for delivery. Such a vaccine delivery system could 
overcome many of the health care and transportation 
infrastructure limitations in many parts of the developing 
world.
    Federal funding for genomic research on developing world 
crops, or so called ``orphan crops'', will play a important 
role in the development of agricultural biotechnology in the 
developing world. Private companies have contributed a great 
deal to the advancement of agricultural biotechnology, but 
their focus has been on commodities that are grown in temperate 
climates, such as corn and soybeans. Little research has been 
done on orphan crops because private companies have very little 
incentive to invest in products that will not bring a financial 
return. While not a solution in itself in combating many of the 
problems of the developing world, public funding for genomic 
and biotechnology research on developing world crops will serve 
as a catalyst in helping the technology reach its potential in 
fighting hunger, malnutrition and disease.
    Research on risks associated with agricultural 
biotechnology.--Balancing these promising technological 
developments, however, are concerns that the introduction of 
new compounds to a given plant could upset the biochemical 
balance of the plant in a way that renders the plant harmful 
for human consumption. Additional research, including that 
aimed at better understanding the underlying biology of plants 
and the effects of introducing new biochemical pathways, will 
continue to develop our ability to assess any risks to the 
environment or to human health that these new varieties may 
pose.
    Other potential risks to the environment exist as well. 
Transmission of unwanted genetic traits from modified crop 
plants to nearby plant relatives, adverse impacts on insect 
populations that feed on modified plants, more rapid 
acquisition of resistance to pesticides by insect pests, and 
other ecological concerns will require additional assessment.
    Beyond technological concerns, socioeconomic issues 
associated with the development and use of these new 
technologies in developing countries exist as well. For 
example, these countries typically do not have national 
regulatory bodies that review genetically altered crops to 
determine whether their introduction is appropriate.
    The programs authorized by H.R. 2051 will enable 
researchers to build on our current knowledge base and 
accelerate the development of this promising technology while 
continuing to address concerns related to its safety.

                        IV. Summary of Hearings

    During the 106th Congress, the Subcommittee on Basic 
Research of the Committee on Science held a series of hearings 
and briefings aimed at understanding agricultural biotechnology 
and its implications. The Subcommittee received testimony and 
information from leading scientists and other interested 
parties from around the world, on all sides of the issue. 
Hearings examined the wide range of benefits, potential risks, 
and the regulatory framework that oversees the development of 
new plant biotechnology products as they progress from the 
laboratory to the marketplace.
    In the 107th Congress, the Subcommittee on Research of the 
Committee on Science held a June 6, 2001 hearing on NSF's 
Fiscal Year 2002 Research and Related Activities Budget 
Request. In addition to the budget overview, the Subcommittee 
received testimony on the process by which NSF establishes 
programmatic and budget priorities as exemplified by the Plant 
Genome Research Program and Project 2010.
    On September 25, 2001, the Research Subcommittee held a 
hearing on H.R. 2051 and H.R. 2912. The Subcommittee heard from 
witnesses with expertise on the scientific, technical, 
political, and economic issues related to plant biotechnology 
and the application of transgenic crops in the developed and 
the developing world. The witnesses discussed current advances 
and concerns, as well as future needs, in plant genomics and 
related research. They also discussed the role that the 
National ScienceFoundation should play in plant biotechnology 
research and provided views and recommendations on H.R. 2051 and H.R. 
2912. The witnesses emphasized the potential for biotechnology to raise 
living standards in third world countries through the development of 
drought tolerant, insect resistant, and higher yielding crop varieties, 
and to fight disease through the development of edible vaccines and 
medicines for afflictions such as enteric diseases.

                          V. Committee Action

    On June 5, 2001, Science Subcommittee on Research Chairman 
Nick Smith introduced H.R. 2051, a bill to provide for the 
establishment of regional plant genome and gene expression 
research and development centers.
    The Subcommittee on Research met on December 12, 2001, to 
consider the bill. Subcommittee Chairman Smith and the ranking 
member, Eddie Bernice Johnson, offered an en bloc amendment. In 
addition to making technical corrections to the bill, the 
amendment incorporated the major provisions of H.R. 2912, a 
bill to establish plant biotechnology partnerships with the 
developing world, introduced by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson. The 
amendment also (1) dropped the requirement that NSF could not 
contribute more than 50 percent of the funds needed to 
establish plant genome and gene expression centers; and (2) 
combined the authorization amounts of H.R. 2051 and H.R. 2912 
into one authorization amount for carrying out the provisions 
of the bill. The amendment was adopted by voice vote. With a 
quorum present, Ms. Johnson moved that the Subcommittee 
favorably report the bill, H.R. 2051, as amended, to the Full 
Committee on Science with the recommendation that it be in 
order for the amendment, in the nature of a substitute adopted 
by the Subcommittee, to be considered as an original bill for 
the purpose of amendment at Full Committee, and that the staff 
be instructed to make technical and conforming changes to the 
bill as amended. The motion was agreed to by a voice vote.
    On March 20, 2002, the Full Committee met to consider the 
bill, H.R. 2051, as reported by the Subcommittee on Research. 
With a quorum present, Ms. Johnson moved that the Committee 
report the bill, H.R. 2051, as amended, to the House, that the 
staff prepare the legislative report and make technical and 
conforming changes, and that the Chairman take all necessary 
steps to bring the bill before the House for consideration. The 
motion was agreed to by voice vote.

              VI. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill

    H.R. 2051 authorizes NSF to award grants to institutions of 
higher education to establish regional plant genome and gene 
expression research centers. Research activities at the Centers 
may include basic research into (1) basic plant genomics or 
genomics applications; (2) the development or use of innovative 
plant derived products; (30 alternative uses for plants and 
plant materials; and (4) the ecological and other effects of 
genetically engineered plants.
    The Act also authorizes NSF to award grants to institutions 
of higher education to establish research partnerships for 
supporting plant biotechnology targeted to the needs of the 
developing world. The plant biotechnology partnerships will be 
used to support basic research activities that may include 
basic research on (1) genomes of crops grown in the developing 
world; (2) the development of pharmaceutical compounds such as 
plant vaccines and medications; and (4) the impact of plant 
biotechnology on the social, political, economic, and 
environmental conditions in countries in the developing world.
    Both programs are authorized at $9 million for FY 2002, 
$13.5 million for FY 2003, and $13.5 million for FY 2004.

                    VII. Section-by-Section Analysis


Sec. 1. Definitions

    Defines ``Director'', as the Director of the National 
Science Foundation (NSF). Uses the definition for `institution 
of higher education' found in the Higher Education Act of 1965. 
Defines ``nonprofit organization'' as a nonprofit research 
institute or a nonprofit association with experience and 
capability in plant biotechnology research as determined by the 
Director.

Sec. 2. Matching funds

    Allows NSF to establish a matching funds requirement for 
grantees to receive grants.

Sec. 3. Plant genome and gene expression research centers

    Establishes a merit-based, competitive program at NSF to 
provide grants to consortia of institutions of higher education 
or non-profit organizations, or both to develop regional plant 
genome and gene expression research centers. These centers 
would conduct research in plant genomics and plant gene 
expression. Research activities could include: (1) Basic plant 
genomics research and applications related to the development 
and testing of new varieties of enhanced crops, including those 
grown in extreme environments and those grown with reduced 
reliance on fertilizer; (2) basic research related to the 
development of innovative, plant-derived products; (3) basic 
research on alternative uses of plants or plant material 
including the use of plants are renewable feedstock for energy 
production; and (4) basic research and dissemination of 
information on the ecological and other consequences of 
genetically engineered plants.

Sec. 4. Partnerships for plant biotechnology in the developing world

    Establishes a merit-based, competitive program at NSF to 
provide grants to institutions of higher education, non-profit 
organizations, or consortia thereof, to develop 
researchpartnerships supporting plant biotechnology targeted to the 
needs of the developing world. Consortia may also include for-profit 
companies. The Director is encourage, by means of outreach, the 
inclusion of Historically Black Colleges or Universities, Hispanic-
Serving Institutions, or Tribal Colleges in the consortia. In order to 
receive grants, the grantee must have entered into a partnership with 
one or more research institutions in a developing nation. Research 
undertaken by the partnerships could include (1) basic genomic research 
on crops grown in the developing world; (2) basic research in plant 
biotechnology that improves plant tolerance, increases yield, or 
reduces the need for fertilizers; (3) basic research that could lead to 
the development of technologies to produce vaccine and pharmaceutical 
products in plants grown in the developing world; and (4) research on 
the social, political, economic, and environmental impact of plant 
biotechnology in the developing world.

Sec. 5. Authorization of appropriations

    Authorizes $9 million for FY 2002, $13.5 million for FY 
2003, and $13.5 million for FY 2004 to carry out the Act.

                         VIII. Committee Views

    The Committee on Science believes that advancements in 
plant biotechnology hold great promise as a tool to alleviate 
poverty and hunger, improve general health and well-being, 
protect the environment, and address a wide variety of problems 
both in the United States and around the world. However, the 
Committee also recognizes that, as a relatively new technology, 
many questions remain concerning the safety of genetically 
modified organisms. This Act is designed to utilize NSF's 
ability to harness the fundamental knowledge needed to address 
these challenges and concerns.
    Building on NSF's proven capacity to engage the academic 
research community, the Act authorizes NSF to fund new centers 
for plant genomics and gene expression research and develop new 
plant biotechnology research partnerships with the developing 
world. Both programs will take advantage of NSF's standard 
competitive peer-review process.

                plant genome and gene expression centers

    NSF currently supports 23 Plant Genome Virtual Centers that 
allow researchers from multiple disciplines and from different 
institutions to work together to access data and study complex 
questions related to plant genomics. Virtual centers bring 
together researchers with diverse expertise, including 
traditional plant breeding research, molecular biology, 
information technology, and agronomy, among many others. It is 
the Committee's intention that the plant genome and gene 
expression centers will expand upon the same multidisciplinary, 
interactive approach exemplified by the Plant Genome Virtual 
Centers.
    The Committee wishes to stress that the term ``plant 
genomics and gene expression research'' is meant to be 
interpreted broadly, and may encompass basic research in fields 
such as molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, plant 
reproduction and pathology, bioinformatics, and many others, 
provided that the research is directly aimed at advancing plant 
biotechnology.
    Regarding specific research activities to be conducted at 
the centers:
    Section 3(b)(1): It is the Committee's intention that 
research activities relating to the development of crops with 
reduced reliance on fertilizers may include research into 
enhancing the nitrogen-fixing ability of legumes and developing 
commercial varieties of non-legumes that are able to fix 
nitrogen. The primary input required for nitrogen fertilizer 
production is natural gas; in fact, fertilizer manufacturing 
consumes about 6 percent of all U.S. natural gas production. 
The Committee believes that potential exists for plant 
biotechnology developments in this area to reduce agricultural 
input costs while also reducing energy dependence.
    Section 3(b)(2): Early plant biotechnology development 
efforts were primarily focused on improving the production 
quantity and quality of plant-derived foods, and involved 
generation of pest-resistant and herbicide-tolerant plants, for 
example. Today, in addition to plant varieties with enhance 
nutritional properties or other desirable characteristics, a 
growing sub-field of the science is focusing on innovative uses 
for plant products. For example, plants can be engineered to 
produce compounds such as enzymes used in food processing, 
vaccines and antibodies for the pharmaceutical industry, and 
compounds used to produce biodegradable plastics. The Committee 
encourages plant genome and gene expression centers to conduct 
fundamental research that may address questions related to 
these types of applications.
    Section 3(b)(3): In future decades, worldwide energy demand 
will continue to increase significantly, primarily due to 
population growth and increases in per capita energy 
consumption that accompany higher living standards throughout 
the world. Alternative renewable energy sources hold promise to 
help meet this increased demand. For example, renewable 
feedstocks have received significant attention as an 
alternative to current hydrocarbon-based energy sources. While 
the technological process currently exists to manufacture 
feedstock-based fuel, biotechnology advancements in feedstock 
production, pretreatment, fermentation, and distillation could 
help to make this process more economically feasible. The 
Committee encourages plant genome and gene expression centers 
to conduct fundamental research into these areas, and expects 
that NSF would coordinate this biotechnology research with 
other government agencies, such as the U.S. Departments of 
Agriculture and Energy, that are also engaged in this type of 
research.
    Section 3(b)(4): The Committee understands that plant 
biotechnology, since its inception, has been the subject of 
significant debate. It is clear that there are real and 
extensive risks and uncertainties associated with this 
technology. For instance, concerns exist that the introduction 
of new compounds to a given plant could upset thebiochemical 
balance of the plant in a way that renders the plant harmful for human 
consumption. Others have expressed concern that genetically engineered 
``plant pesticides,'' such as those carrying the Bt gene, which causes 
plants to release a toxin that defends it from insects and other pests, 
could be harmful to human health and/or the environment. Other 
uncertainties remain regarding the safety of biotechnology, including 
questions related to the long-term environmental and human health 
effects of consuming biotech foods, and the potential that new 
allergens may be introduced into the food chain.
    The Committee believes that research on the ecological and 
other consequences of genetically engineered plants is an 
important component of the overall research effort, and 
encourages NSF to fund research on these important issues as 
part of the work of the centers authorized by this Act. The 
Committee also believes that the centers should, through 
outreach and other means of informal education, strive to 
communicate scientific information on these risks to the 
public.

       Plant Biotechnology Partnerships with the Developing World

    More people die worldwide each year from famine and 
diseases related to malnutrition than from all other diseases 
combined. In March of 2002, the World Health Organization and 
the United Nations Children's Fund reported that 8 million 
babies, more than half in the first month of life, die each 
year. Malnutrition is responsible for sixty percent of these 
deaths. In other words, 9 babies perish due to hunger each 
minute. Clearly, successfully combating hunger and malnutrition 
has significant potential to raise standards of living and 
increase life expectancy in developing countries. Through the 
development of new crops that produce increased yields, reduce 
the need for fertilizer inputs, and help plants withstand 
stress conditions such as drought and high salinity levels, 
plant biotechnology holds great promise as a tool to improve 
life in these countries. Understanding this, the committee 
intends that the Plant Biotechnology Partnerships for the 
Developing World program will provide the fundamental research 
needed to build on the current plant biotechnology knowledge 
base to address specific agricultural problems in the 
developing world.
    In addition to the need for this technology, researchers in 
developing countries need technical assistance to fully 
understand the benefits and risks and be able to implement 
plant biotechnology. The Committee envisions that the 
partnership program will meet this need, supporting scientists 
at U.S. institutions working in concert with scientists from 
developing nations. Many developing nations have established 
agricultural research centers that focus on developing world 
crops and will make significant contributions to plant 
biotechnology research done in the U.S., while continuing to 
develop their own scientific capacity.
    The Committee is aware that minority-serving institutions 
of higher education also have developed substantial research 
capabilities in the area of plant biotechnology. The Committee 
expects the Director to take active steps, including through 
workshops and symposia, to inform Historically Black Colleges 
and Universities, Hispanic-servingInstitutions, and tribal 
colleges and universities about the opportunities for research awards 
under the program established by this legislation and to encourage the 
inclusion of such institutions in the research partnerships under 
section 4.

                           IX. Cost Estimate

    Rule XIII, clause 3(d)(2) of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report accompanying each bill or joint 
resolution of a public character to contain: (1) an estimate, 
made by such committed, of the costs which would be incurred in 
carrying out such bill or joint resolution in the fiscal year 
(or for the authorized duration of any program authorized by 
such bill or joint resolution, if less then five years); (2) a 
comparison of the estimate of costs described in subparagraph 
(1) of this paragraph made by such committee with an estimate 
of such costs made by any government agency and submitted to 
such committee; and (3) when practicable, a comparison of the 
total estimated funding level for the relevant program (or 
programs) with the appropriate levels under current law. 
However, House Rule XIII, clause 3(d)(3)(B) provides that this 
requirement does not apply when a cost estimate and comparison 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 has 
been timely submitted prior to the filing of the report and 
included in the report pursuant to House Rule XIII, clause 
3(c)(3). A cost estimate and comparison prepared by the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office under section 402 
of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 has been timely 
submitted to the Committee on Science prior to the filing of 
this report and is included in Section X of this report 
pursuant to House Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(3).
    Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(2) of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report that accompanies a measure 
providing new budget authority (other than continuing 
appropriations), new spending authority, or new credit 
authority, or changes in revenues or tax expenditures to 
contain a cost estimate, as required by section 308(a)(1) of 
the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and, when practicable with 
respect to estimates of new budget authority, a comparison of 
the total estimated funding level for the relevant program (or 
programs) to the appropriate levels under current law. H.R. 
2051 does not contain any new budget authority, credit 
authority, or changes in revenues or tax expenditures. Assuming 
that the sums authorized under the bill are appropriated, H.R. 
2051 does authorize additional discretionary spending, as 
described in the Congressional Budget Office report on the 
bill, which is contained in Section X of this report.

              X. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, April 4, 2002.
Hon. Sherwood L. Boehlert,
Chairman, Committee on Science,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2051, a bill to 
authorize the National Science Foundation to establish regional 
centers for the purpose of plant genome and gene expression 
research and development and international research 
partnerships for the advancement of plant biotechnology in the 
developing world.
    If you wish further details on this estimate , we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Kathleen 
Gramp.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2051--A bill to authorize the National Science Foundation to 
        establish regional centers for the purpose of plant genome and 
        gene expression research and development and international 
        research partnerships for the advancement of plant 
        biotechnology in the developing world

    Summary: H.R. 2051 would expand the scope of the National 
Science Foundation's (NSF's) existing research on plant 
genetics and biotechnology by authorizing appropriations for 
research on special issues and for partnerships with 
institutions in developing nations. The bill would authorize $9 
million for 2002 and $13.5 million for each of fiscal years 
2003 and 2004 for these new initiatives. These funds would be 
awarded competitively and would focus on such issues as crop 
cultivation in extreme climates, innovative plant products, 
feedstocks for alternative energy production, the ecological 
effects of genetically engineered plants, and biotechnology in 
developing countries.
    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 2051 would cost a 
total of $34 million over the 2002-2007 period, assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts. The bill would not 
affect direct spending or receipts, so pay-as-you-go procedures 
would not apply.
    H.R. 2051 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 2051 is shown in the following table. 
For this estimate, CBO assumes that the bill will be enacted by 
spring and that the funding authorized for 2002 will be 
provided in a supplemental appropriation act. Outlays are 
projected based on spending trends for similar NSF programs. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 250 
(general science, space, and technology).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2002     2003     2004     2005     2006     2007
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Plant Genome Spending Under Current Law:
    Budget Authority \1\..................................      115        0        0        0        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................       93       76       24        7        3        1
Proposed Changes:
    Authorization Level...................................        9       14       14        0        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................    (\2\)        6       14       10        3        1
Spending Under H.R. 2051:
    Authorization Level \1\...............................      124       14       14        0        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................       93       82       38       17        6        2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2002 level is the amount estimated to be appropriated for plant genome research for 2002.
\2\ Less than $500,000.

    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 2051 
contains no integovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. The bill would benefit public universities 
by authorizing $36 million in grants, between fiscal year 2002 
and 2004, to establish research centers and to cultivate 
partnerships. Any costs incurred by public universities to 
participate in this program would be voluntary.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Kathleen Gramp; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Elyse Goldman; and 
Impact on the Private Sector: Jean Talarico.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                  XI. Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    H.R. 2051 contains no unfunded mandates.

         XII. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(1) of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include oversight findings 
and recommendations required pursuant to clause 2(b)(1) of rule 
X. The Committee on Science's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

      XIII. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause (3)(c)(4) of House Rule XIII, the goal 
and objective of the bill is to authorize the National Science 
Foundation to establish regional centers for the purpose of 
plant genome and gene expression research and development and 
to provide grants to establish international research 
partnerships for the advancement of plant biotechnology in the 
developing world.

                XIV. Constitutional Authority Statement

    Rule XIII, clause 3(d)(1) of the House of Representatives 
requires each report of a committee on a bill or joint 
resolution of a public character to include a statement citing 
the specific powers granted to the Congress in the Constitution 
to enact the law proposed by the bill or joint resolution. 
Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United States 
grants Congress the authority to enact H.R. 2051.

                XV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement

    H.R. 2051 does not establish nor authorize the 
establishment of any advisory committee.

                 XVI. Congressional Accountability Act

    The Committee finds that H.R. 2051 does not relate to the 
terms and conditions of employment or access to public services 
or accommodations within the meaning of section 102(b)(3) of 
the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 104-1).

      XVII. Statement on Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law

    This bill in not intended to preempt any state, local, or 
tribal law.

      XVIII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    This legislation does not amend any existing Federal 
statute.

                     XIX. Committee Recommendations

    On March 20, 2002, a quorum being present, the Committee on 
Science favorably reported H.R. 2051, by a voice vote, and 
recommends its enactment.

               XX. Proceedings of the Subcommittee Markup




PROCEEDINGS OF THE MARKUP HELD BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON RESEARCH ON H.R. 
2051, A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF REGIONAL PLANT GENOME 
          AND GENE EXPRESSION RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTERS

                              ----------                              


                      WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2001

                  House of Representatives,
                          Subcommittee on Research,
                                      Committee on Science,
                                                    Washington, DC.

    The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:30 p.m., in 
Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Nick Smith 
[Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
    Chairman Smith. And now we are official. I would ask that 
my full statement be included in the record. And without 
objection, the full statement will be included in the record.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Smith of Michigan follows:]
               Prepared Statement of Chairman Nick Smith
    The legislation before the Subcommittee today will help to 
strengthen plant biotechnology research efforts at the National Science 
Foundation. The use of biotechnology to produce new varieties of 
plants--for food or other uses--has been of great interest to this 
Subcommittee in the past. In the past two years, we have held numerous 
hearings aimed at understanding this rapidly expanding area of science. 
We received testimony and information from scientists and other 
interested parties from around the world, on all sides of the issue, 
and learned a great deal about the incredible potential of plant 
biotechnology to make our world a better place to live.
    At our most recent hearing on this issue in September, we heard 
specific comments from the scientific community on the legislation 
before us today. Witnesses shared their thoughts on how this proposed 
legislation could advance basic plant science research and fill funding 
gaps in the current genomics research portfolio. We also learned of the 
successful efforts of the NSF Plant Genome Research Program to 
completely sequence all 25,000 genes of Arabidopsis, a small mustard 
plant. This sequencing will one day serve as a tremendous resource to 
all areas of plant biology research, but will require continued efforts 
to identify and understand how these 25,000 genes are expressed.
    A better understanding of gene expression will eventually allow 
researchers to develop an array of new beneficial plant varieties that 
will only be limited by the resourcefulness and imagination of our 
scientists. Some of these improvements that may be just around the 
corner include new drought tolerant and salt tolerant crop plants, 
plants that can resist insect, fungal, and viral infections, plants 
with improved nutritional content, and plants that can reduce our 
reliance on fertilizers and pesticides. Other new varieties may also 
serve as alternative energy sources, and provide inexpensive industrial 
precursors, or supply needed ``edible vaccines.''
    My bill, H.R. 2051, will help us to make these promising 
advancements a reality. It authorizes the establishment of Plant Genome 
Expression Centers--centers for basic research that will extend plant 
genomics research and accelerate the development of new beneficial 
plant varieties. The centers will be funded through a merit-based, 
competitive process, and will bring together some of the best 
researchers in the field to participate and work together.
    We will proceed today by first considering a Manager's amendment 
that combines Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson's plant biotechnology 
legislation focusing on the developing world, H.R. 2912, with my bill 
establishing Plant Genome Expression Centers. Several technical changes 
are included in the manager's amendment to clean up the language, but 
they do not alter the function or purpose of either bill. Additionally, 
the funding authorized in each bill is combined into one sum so that 
the NSF will have more flexibility to devote resources to these 
commitments as needed. This results in authorized appropriations of $9 
million for fiscal year 2002, $13.5 million for fiscal year 2003, and 
$13.5 million for fiscal year 2004.
    These two bills share a common goal of strengthening plant 
biotechnology research at the National Science Foundation, and I think 
they complement each other well as a single piece of legislation. I am 
confident the benefits realized through these Plant Genome Expression 
Centers and Plant Biotechnology Partnerships in the developing world 
will allow us to harness fundamental knowledge and solve many difficult 
challenges. Again, this is a bipartisan effort we can be proud of and 
I'm pleased to extending my support the bills as combined.

    Chairman Smith. This legislation that the Ranking Member 
and I, Republicans, and Democrats, have worked on, I think 
moves us ahead in the area of biotechnology to probably 
increase the possibility, or the probability, that more of the 
world is going to support our biotech and genetic modification 
through the new technology.
    We have been concentrating on the development of products 
to reduce the price to farmers a little bit, and it might 
result in a minimal reduction in price to consumers. But the 
greater challenge is to produce products that help people, that 
try to minimize environmental damage to help better protect the 
environment, and, certainly, the opportunities to feed a hungry 
world by producing the kind of products that can grow in those 
alkaline soils or grow under those climatic conditions, where 
the developing nations haven't been able to grow the kind of 
sufficient supply of food that they need.
    Also, in this legislation, it--we move into the area of 
energy, both with the development of biofuels, through 
biotechnology, and also, an area that I have been particularly 
interested in, the fixation of nitrogen in soils. Of course, 
legumes, with their nodules, are able to fix nitrogen in the 
soil, and that becomes a substitute to chemical fertilizer, 
nitrogen fertilizer, that utilizes in the area of 10--of 5 to 
10 percent of the total production of natural gas in this 
country.
    So that there is a lot that we can do with this technology. 
It is only limited by the creativity of our scientists 
exploring it and the willingness of Congress to move ahead with 
encouraging this kind of research. And with that, I would turn 
to our Ranking Member, Ms. Johnson, for comments.
    Ms. Johnson. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I will 
start reading mine because we don't have a quorum. There is not 
much we can do.
    Chairman Smith. Read slowly.
    Ms. Johnson. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for bringing 
this important legislation before the Subcommittee today. And I 
greatly appreciate your working with me in a bipartisan manner 
to incorporate H.R. 2912, the plant biotechnology bill I 
introduced into the substitute amendment that will be offered 
to H.R. 2051, your plant genome centers bill. I know we share a 
strong interest in seeing the promise of plant biotechnology 
realized in both the United States and the developing world, 
and I believe this legislation will make a valuable 
contribution to achieving that goal.
    Each day, 800 million people are malnourished and go 
hungry, the majority of whom live in the developing world. 
Every 2.2 seconds, malnutrition claims another victim, half of 
whom are children. Within the next 25 years, the world 
population is projected to grow by 2 to 8.2 billion. Unless 
food production is dramatically increased in the regions where 
it is most needed, persistent hunger will become more prevalent 
and malnutrition will claim even more victims than it does 
today.
    In many regions of the developing world, the farming 
practices used today are the same as, or similar to, those 
practical--those practiced for centuries. Unfortunately, these 
practices often lead to low crop yields and soil destruction. 
Many farmers desperately need access to the best management 
practices. In addition, better seeds, fertilizer, and 
biotechnology would increase yields and, thus, help to reduce 
the epidemic of malnutrition now facing too many regions of the 
world. I believe that plant biotechnology has a potential to 
help the developing world, increase food security, and move 
towards self-sufficiency.
    That is why I introduced H.R. 2912. This bill authorizes 
the NSF to establish a grant program of partnerships between 
the United States research organization and those in the 
developing countries for research on plant biotechnology 
targeted to the agricultural needs of the developing world. I 
believe that by working side by side with scientists from poor 
countries, crop varieties resistant to insects and viruses, 
crops that can be grown in drought, drought-stricken lands, 
with only minimal water, and crops that have improved 
nutritional content can be developed.
    At the hearing on plant biotechnology held by this 
Subcommittee back in September, several witnesses gave examples 
showing where plant biotechnology is already having a positive 
impact in the developing world. Insect-resistant potatoes are 
reducing crop losses from potato tuber moth infections in 
Egypt. In Kenya, virus-resistant sweet potatoes have decreased 
crop loss by 25 percent. And in India, where 18 percent of the 
children suffer from some level of vitamin A deficiency, the 
development of golden mustard, which is high in vitamin A, has 
the potential to reduce suffering.
    Investment in basic research in plant biotechnology 
targeted to the agricultural needs of the developing world will 
lead to a better understanding of many types of crops and 
strengthen the capacity to develop and produce new, enhanced--
of ours.
    NSF has already made important contributions to advance the 
knowledge base for plant biotechnology. I see this compromised 
bill as a way to build on that base and to see that plant 
biotechnology to address agricultural issues and problems 
worldwide.
    Mr. Chairman, I thank you--and the only one--for working 
with me to develop this bipartisan legislation. I look forward 
to assisting you in any way I can to move this bill to the Full 
Committee and to the Floor. I commend the legislation to my 
colleagues and ask for their support. Thank you very much.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Johnson follows:]
       Prepared Statement of the Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson
    Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for bringing this important 
legislation before the Subcommittee today. I greatly appreciate your 
working with me in a bipartisan manner to incorporate H.R. 2912, the 
plant biotechnology bill I introduced, into the substitute amendment 
that will be offered to H.R. 2051, your plant genome centers bill. I 
know we share a strong interest in seeing the promise of plant 
biotechnology realized in both the U.S. and the developing world, and I 
believe this legislation will make a valuable contribution to achieving 
that goal.
    Each day, 800 million people are malnourished and go hungry, the 
majority of whom live in the developing world. Every 2.2 seconds, 
malnutrition claims another victim, half of whom are children. Within 
the next 25 years, the world population is projected to grow by 2 
billion to 8.2 billion. Unless food production is dramatically 
increased in the regions where it is most needed, persistent hunger 
will become more prevalent and malnutrition will claim even more 
victims than it does today.
    In many regions of the developing world, the farming practices used 
today are the same as or similar to those practiced for centuries. 
Unfortunately, these practices often lead to low crop yields and soil 
destruction. Many farmers desperately need access to best management 
practices. In addition, better seeds, fertilizer, and biotechnology 
would increase yields and thus help to reduce the epidemic of 
malnutrition now facing too many regions of the world.
    I believe that plant biotechnology has the potential to help the 
developing world increase food security and move towards self-
sufficiency. That is why I introduced H.R. 2912. This bill authorizes 
NSF to establish a grant program for partnerships between U.S. research 
organizations and those in developing countries for research on plant 
biotechnology targeted to the agricultural needs of the developing 
world. I believe that by working side-by-side with scientists from poor 
countries, crop varieties resistant to insects and viruses, crops that 
can be grown in drought stricken lands with only minimal water, and 
crops that have improved nutritional content can be developed.
    At the hearing on plant biotechnology held by this Subcommittee 
back in September, several witnesses gave examples showing where plant 
biotechnology is already having a positive impact in the developing 
world. Insect resistant potatoes are reducing crop losses from Potato 
Tuber Moth infestations in Egypt; in Kenya, virus resistant sweet 
potatoes have decreased crop loss by 25 percent; and in India, where 18 
percent of the children suffer from some level of vitamin A deficiency, 
the development of ``golden mustard,'' which is high in vitamin A, has 
the potential to reduce suffering. Investment in basic research on 
plant biotechnology targeted to the agricultural needs of the 
developing world will lead to a better understanding of many types of 
crops and strengthen the capacity to develop and produce new and 
enhanced cultivars.
    NSF has already made important contributions to advance the 
knowledge base for plant biotechnology. I see this compromise bill as a 
way to build on that base and to use plant biotechnology to address 
agricultural issues and problems worldwide.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you for working with me to develop this 
bipartisan legislation. I look forward to assisting you in any way I 
can to move the bill through Committee and to the Floor.
    I commend the legislation to my colleagues and ask for their 
support.

    Chairman Smith. The--without objection, the Chair will 
allow any other Members' comments to be entered into the record 
unless Representative Rivers you would like to make a comment 
at this time. Without objection, that is so ordered.

                           H.R. 2051

    10:40 a.m.
    We will now consider H.R. 2051, To Provide for the 
Establishment of Regional Plant Genome and Gene Expression 
Research and Development Centers. And the first reading of the 
bill. As soon as you start, I am going to stop you. So----
    The Clerk. H.R. 2051, a bill to Provide For the 
Establishment of Regional Plant Genome and Gene Expression 
Research and Development Centers. Be it enacted by the Senate 
and the House of Representatives of the United States of 
America in Congress assembled, Section 1, Centers. The National 
Science Foundation is authorized to make grants for the 
establishment of----
    Chairman Smith. Without objection, the bill will be 
considered read.
    [H.R. 2051 follows:]
    
    
    Chairman Smith. And we have an amendment to the bill. And 
the Manager's Amendment incorporates Ms. Johnson's legislation 
that has the--that is, plant biotechnology legislation--but her 
provisions focus on the developing world--H.R. 2912, with my 
bill establishing plant genome expression centers, H.R. 2051. 
And I think it is a good addition to this overall effort to 
accomplish some great goals that we might, with the National 
Science Foundation, and in gene expression. I would like to 
yield to Ms. Johnson for any comments she may have on the 
amendment.
    Ms. Johnson. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And I want 
to express my appreciation for you adding this amendment and I 
would urge the members of the Committee to support it.
    [Amendment to H.R. 2051, offered by Mr. Smith of Michigan 
and Ms. Johnson]


    Chairman Smith. For the record, the results in authorized 
appropriations will be $9 million for fiscal year 2002; $13.5 
million for 2003; and $13.5 million for fiscal year 2004. And 
our legal counsel, Barry--Barry is not here. So we will turn--
--
    Unidentified Speaker. He is out there.
    Chairman Smith. I think we can just turn to you for 
authority to move on and report the bill if Barry is not here. 
Barry, he was about to let us go on without objection. And we 
could hold the roll open for the required \1/3\ quorum. What is 
your--what is your--without objection, we will sort of stand at 
ease--that is, just short of recess.
    And I would ask Sharon Hays to maybe give us an outline of 
what is coming up next year in this Subcommittee, if you can 
give us some of your thoughts. Of course, we are going to have 
the NSF authorization bill. The prospects for this legislation 
probably will be marked up in Full Committee when we return in 
February. Is that your understanding, Sharon?
    Ms. Hays. That is. We haven't set any time----
    Chairman Smith. Any other legislation that--any other 
Committee sessions that you think should be considered by this 
Committee for next year? Have we--do we have an outline? If we 
don't, maybe we would request an outline from you and the 
democrat staff people to give us a proposed outline of what we 
might look forward to, to schedule and plan for next year.
    Ms. Rivers. Two sets of staff, the Democratic staff and 
then the Democrat staff. Can you just tell me the difference 
between them?
    Chairman Smith. Well, the Democrat staff would be more 
partisan than the Democratic staff, I think. So if we can put 
that request in, Sharon. I am not sure where we are. I--my 
understanding is, is we are going to have the NSF authorization 
bill that we are going to be working on pretty diligently with 
several hearings next year. And so simply request that staff 
maybe review the possibilities and present them to the Ranking 
Member and myself.
    Ms. Hays. Mr. Chairman, we will be having a staff meeting 
in early January where we will be doing exactly that kind of 
planning for the next year. So we will get back to you shortly 
thereafter.
    Chairman Smith. Would like to formally introduce, for the 
Committee and for the record, Dan Byers, who is our new 
designee on the Science Committee staff. And Dan is--has--was 
an AAAS Representative in my office two years ago, and last 
year became my Legislative Assistant for agricultural affairs. 
And so, Dan, welcome aboard. And we will wait another five 
minutes and then, if there is no objection, we will proceed 
with unanimous consent that we move these bills to Full 
Committee.
    [Recess.]
    Chairman Smith. [continuing]. Mikes on? Thank you. All in 
favor of the amendment say, aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it. 
And with--it says quick gavel. Without--ask for other 
amendments. Hearing no other amendments, the question is on 
passage of the bill--and the H.R. 2051, as amended. All those 
in favor will say aye. All those opposed, say no. Again, a 
quick gavel. The ayes have it. I now recognize Ms. Johnson for 
a motion.
    Ms. Johnson. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. I move that the 
Subcommittee favorably report the bill, H.R. 2051, as amended, 
to the Full Committee with the recommendation that it has been 
in order for--that it be in order for the bill, as amended, by 
the Subcommittee to be considered as an original bill for the 
purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule at Full 
Committee. Further, I ask unanimous consent that the staff be 
instructed to make all necessary technical and conforming 
changes to the bill, as amended, in accordance with the 
recommendations of the Subcommittee.
    Chairman Smith. The Committee has heard the motion. Those 
in favor will say aye. Those opposed, say no. The ayes have it 
and the motion is agreed to. Without objection, the motion to 
reconsider is laid upon the table and the Chairman will note 
the presence of many Members of this Committee in attendance.
    [Whereupon, at 10:54 a.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]

             XXI. Proceedings of the Full Committee Markup




 PROCEEDINGS OF THE FULL COMMITTEE MARKUP ON H.R. 2051, TO PROVIDE FOR 
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF REGIONAL PLANT GENOME AND GENE EXPRESSION RESEARCH 
                        AND DEVELOPMENT CENTERS

                              ----------                              


                       WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2002

                          House of Representatives,
                                      Committee on Science,
                                                    Washington, DC.

    The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:40 a.m., in Room 
2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Sherwood L. 
Boehlert [Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Committee on Science will be in 
order. First of all, I would like to advise all members that 
there is a sign-up sheet before each individual place, 
reflecting the views and estimates, and we would like you to 
read the Committee's views and estimates, and hopefully, you 
will be inspired to sign the sheet indicating your approval. 
With that, let us get moving.
    The Committee on Science will be in order. Pursuant to 
notice, the Committee on Science is meeting today to consider 
the following measures. H.R. 2051, A Bill to Provide for the 
Establishment of Regional Plant Genome and Gene Expression 
Research and Development Centers. Thank you, Mr. Smith. H.R. 
3389, the National Sea Grant Program Act Amendments of 2002, 
and H.R. 3929, the Energy Pipeline Research Development and 
Demonstration Act.
    I ask unanimous consent for the authority to recess the 
Committee at any point, and without objection it is so ordered. 
Mr. Hall will be making his way here to present his opening 
remarks. Let me do mine.
    The three bills we have before us this morning deal with 
very different topics and come from three different 
subcommittees, but they do have a few key aspects in common. 
First, all three are bipartisan consensus bills. Once again, 
the Committee's majority and minority staffs have worked in 
tandem to draft the bills that advance proposals from members 
on both sides of the aisle. This Committee continues to set an 
example of working together that others would do well to 
follow. Also, all three bills are designed to promote research 
and development, especially, long-term research and development 
that will help address critical societal problems.
    H.R. 2051 was designed to help strengthen American 
agriculture and alleviate malnutrition in the developing world. 
H.R. 3389 will help protect the nation's coastal areas and 
fisheries and combat invasive species. And H.R. 3929 will help 
prevent pollution and pipeline explosions. These bills are not 
funding research for the sake of research whether they deal 
with abstruse matters of no concern to the rest of Congress or 
to the rest of the country. The research advances that will 
result from these measures will help improve the daily lives of 
people here and around the world. Let me say just a little bit 
more about each of these bills and then they will be described 
more fully by their sponsors as we mark up each one.
    H.R. 2051, offered by Chairman Nick Smith and Ranking 
Minority Member Eddie Bernice Johnson, will create two new 
programs on plant biotechnology at the National Science 
Foundation. The bill offers a balanced approach to biotech 
authorizing research not only to develop new genetic 
engineering techniques and products, but also, to examine the 
ecological and social consequences of bio-engineered plants.
    H.R. 3389, offered by Chairman Vernon Ehlers and Ranking 
Minority Member Jim Barcia, will reauthorize and reform the Sea 
Grant Program, while keeping it within the National 
Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. We will have to 
negotiate a final version of the bill with the Resources 
Committee before it can come to the Floor, and we plan to push 
in a strong and unified fashion for our version of this bill. 
However, we will, as Dr. Ehlers has committed, find a way to 
address the concerns Mr. Underwood has raised about the way the 
Sea Grant Program deals with the Pacific Islands.
    Finally, we will take up H.R. 3929, offered by Ranking 
Minority Member Ralph Hall and Lamar Smith, which will ensure 
that all the federal agencies with expertise in pipeline safety 
are engaged in research in that important area. We will work 
with the Energy and Commerce, and Transportation and 
Infrastructure Committees to move our bill as part of a 
comprehensive pipeline safety measure.
    So we have much to accomplish today and we will do it in 
the bipartisan fashion that has become the Committee's 
hallmark. With that, the Chair recognizes Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, as usual, you have covered the 
waterfront pretty well. I just want to say that I support these 
three bills. We will have an amendment for the third bill, but 
on H.R. 2051, I want to congratulate Nick Smith and Ranking 
Democratic Member Eddie Bernice Johnson for their efforts on 
it. And of course, on the Sea Grant Program, your bill, I 
certainly support that and look forward to working with you, 
and you have recognized Chairman Ehlers and Representative 
Barcia. And on my bill, I will have an amendment of 3929 that 
we will discuss when we have a little more time. With that, 
thank you for doing a good job, and I yield back the balance of 
my time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Hall follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Ralph M. Hall
    Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to support H.R. 2051, which authorizes 
programs at the National Science Foundation on plant biotechnology 
research.
    I want to congratulate Research Subcommittee Chairman Nick Smith 
and Ranking Democratic Member Eddie Bernice Johnson for their efforts 
to develop this important bill. They worked together in a remarkable 
spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship.
    The bill will further strengthen NSF's ongoing research to advance 
knowledge in the field of plant biotechnology. Moreover, it will 
support research collaborations between U.S. scientists and scientists 
from abroad to help bring the benefits of this emerging technology to 
the developing world.
    I would like to yield now to the co-author of the bill, 
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson for a further explanation of the 
legislation.

    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much. And let me tell 
you, it is the Chair's intent to move with dispatch. These 
bills have been looked at with the respective committee staffs. 
They are very able and very professional staffs, so we don't 
envision a long markup here. We have a hearing immediately 
after with some very distinguished guests, and I know a number 
of our colleagues have conflicting commitments. So without 
objection, all members' opening statements will be placed in 
the record at this point.


                               H.R. 2051

    10:47 a.m.
    Chairman Boehlert. We will now consider H.R. 2051, A Bill 
to Provide for the Establishment of Regional Plant Genome and 
Gene Expression Research and Development Centers. I now 
recognize for five minutes the Chair of the Subcommittee on 
Research, the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Smith, to briefly 
explain the bill.
    Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman, I will briefly explain the bill 
and ask that my complete statement be entered into the record 
without objection.
    Chairman Boehlert. So ordered.
    Mr. Smith. And I thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Hall, for 
bringing this bill before Congress. During the Subcommittee 
markup on this issue, we heard specific comments from the 
scientific community on the legislation that is before us today 
on the potential not only to feed a hungry world, but to better 
protect the environment and, actually, to allow plants, food 
plants, to grow in areas of the Third World where we haven't 
been able to grow those food products before and, also, the 
potential to increase the health aspects of certain food 
products.
    Plant Genome Research Program is becoming a new era for our 
technology in the United States, not only for health of 
individuals, but for the health of the environment. I think a 
better understanding of gene expression will eventually allow 
researchers to develop, really, a new array of new beneficial 
plant varieties that will be limited only by the 
resourcefulness and the imagination of our scientists. And some 
of these improvements may be just around the corner as rapidly 
as we are moving ahead on this technology. H.R. 2051 is going 
to help make these promising achievements a reality in the near 
future. It authorizes the establishment of plant genome 
expression centers, centers for basic research that will take 
us to the next phase of plant genomic research and accelerate 
the development of beneficial new plant varieties.
    Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Hall, and Committee Members, 
colleagues, one aspect of this bill is to reduce our demand for 
energy as we expand our efforts to increase the availability of 
bio fuels, as we increase the fixation of nitrogen in our soil. 
We now have legumes that can fix nitrogen. We use about six 
percent of the natural gas to accommodate the production of 
nitrogen fertilizer in this country. We are on the--we are 
almost at the point where we now can reduce our need for that 
product. And with that, I yield back, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Smith follows:]
            Prepared Statement of Representative Nick Smith
    I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for bringing before the 
Committee today my bill, H.R. 2051, strengthening plant biotechnology 
research efforts at the National Science Foundation. The use of 
biotechnology to produce new varieties of plants--for food, medicine, 
or other uses--has been of great interest to the Research Subcommittee 
that I chair with Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson. Over the past 
three years, our Subcommittee held numerous hearings aimed at 
understanding this rapidly expanding area of science. We received 
testimony and information from scientists and other interested parties 
from around the world, on all sides of the issue, and heard about the 
incredible potential of plant biotechnology to feed a hungry world, 
protect our environment, reduce energy demand, and advance other 
critical needs.
    At our most recent hearing on this issue last September, we heard 
specific comments from the scientific community on the legislation 
before us today. Witnesses shared their thoughts on how this proposed 
legislation could advance basic plant science research and fill funding 
gaps in the current genomics research portfolio. We also learned of the 
successful efforts of the NSF Plant Genome Research Program to 
completely sequence all 25,000 genes of Arabidopsis, a small mustard 
plant. This sequencing is a tremendous resource to all areas of plant 
biology research, but will require continued efforts to identify and 
understand how these 25,000 genes are expressed. A better understanding 
of gene expression will eventually allow researchers to develop an 
array of new beneficial plant varieties that will be limited only by 
the resourcefulness and imagination of our scientists. Some of these 
improvements may be just around the corner, including: new drought 
tolerant and salt tolerant crop plants, plants that can resist insect, 
fungal, and viral infections; plants with improved nutritional content; 
and plants that can reduce our reliance on fertilizers and pesticides. 
Other new varieties may also serve as alternative energy sources, and 
provide inexpensive industrial precursors, or supply needed ``edible 
vaccines.''
    My bill, H.R. 2051, will help us to make these promising 
advancements a reality. It authorizes the establishment of Plant Genome 
Expression Centers--centers for basic research that will take us to the 
next phase in plant genomics research and accelerate the development of 
beneficial new plant varieties. The centers will take advantage of the 
National Science Foundation's merit-based, competitive process, and 
will bring together some of the best researchers in the field to 
participate and work together.
    H.R. 2051 also authorizes a program creating Plant Biotechnology 
Partnerships for the Developing World. This program is based on the 
provisions of H.R. 2912, introduced by Ms. Johnson. The plant 
biotechnology partnerships will provide the fundamental research needed 
to build on the current plant biotechnology knowledge base to address 
specific agricultural problems in the developing world. The 
Partnerships program will also provide researchers in developing 
countries with much needed technical assistance to better understand 
and implement plant biotechnology.
    The benefits of biotechnology are great, and the scientific 
evidence confirming the safety of plant biotech products developed 
within our strong regulatory framework continues to mount. I believe 
that this Committee can play a critical role in the development of the 
technology by continuing to insist that the debate surrounding it 
remain firmly grounded in science, and I thank the Chairman for his 
efforts in this area. I urge members to support this legislation 
strengthening our research efforts to foster new innovations in plant 
biotechnology. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much, Mr. Smith. Ms. 
Johnson.
    Ms. Johnson. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me 
express my appreciation for you bringing this important 
legislation before the Committee today, and I would like to ask 
unanimous consent to place my entire statement in the record.
    Chairman Boehlert. Without objection, so ordered.
    Ms. Johnson. Last week, the World Health Organization and 
the United Nations Children's Fund released a very troubling 
report on health conditions in the developing world. According 
to the report, 8 million babies, more than half, in the first 
month of life die each year. Malnutrition is responsible for 60 
percent of these deaths. So in other words, every minute nine 
babies perish due to hunger. Within the next 25 years, the 
world's population is projected to grow by 2 billion people, to 
8.2 billion. To meet this challenge, developing countries need 
to dramatically improve their food security, and this is what 
the original bill of 2912 intended, and I am delighted that Mr. 
Smith and I worked together, and it is incorporated into 2051.
    And if there are no other questions, Mr. Chairman, I am 
ready to make a motion.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Johnson follows:]
       Prepared Statement of Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson
    Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for bringing this important 
legislation before the Committee today.
    The bill before us, as reported by the Research Subcommittee, was 
developed in a cooperative manner between Chairman Smith and myself. I 
want to thank Mr. Smith for working with me in a bipartisan manner to 
incorporate H.R. 2912, the plant biotechnology bill I introduced, into 
H.R. 2051, his plant genome centers bill.
    Subcommittee Chairman Smith and I share a strong interest in seeing 
the promise of plant biotechnology realized in both the U.S. and the 
developing world, and I believe this legislation will make a valuable 
contribution to achieving that goal.
    Last week, the World Health Organization and the United Nations 
Children's Fund released a very troubling report on health conditions 
in the developing world. According to the report, eight million babies, 
more than half in the first month of life, die each year. Malnutrition 
is responsible for 60 percent of these deaths. In other words, every 
minute, 9 babies perish due to hunger. If you consider other age 
groups, the statistics are even worse. Within the next 25 years, the 
world's population is projected to grow by 2 billion to 8.2 billion 
people. To meet this challenge, developing countries need to 
dramatically increase food production in the regions where it is most 
needed in addition to improving food distribution networks. If this is 
not done, persistent hunger will become more prevalent and malnutrition 
will claim even more victims than it does today.
    Bilateral and multilateral assistance institutions are working with 
developing countries to improve agricultural practices throughout the 
world. In addition to better management techniques, soil conservation, 
better seeds and fertilizer, biotechnology has a very important role to 
play in increasing crop yields and thus reducing the epidemic of 
malnutrition now facing too many regions of the world. The beauty of 
biotechnology is that the entire technology can be transferred in a 
single seed.
    Because I believe that plant biotechnology has the potential to 
help the developing world increase food security and move towards self-
sufficiency, I introduced H.R. 2912. This bill authorizes NSF to 
establish a grant program for partnerships between U.S. research 
organizations and those in developing countries for research on plant 
biotechnology targeted to the agricultural needs of the developing 
world. Federal funding for crops that can be grown in the developing 
world is essential because private companies have little financial 
incentive to invest in so-called ``orphan'' crops. The partnership 
aspect of this legislation is particularly important because in 
addition to creating new crop varieties to combat hunger and 
malnutrition, it helps develop the scientific capacity of developing 
countries. Many of these countries already have established 
agricultural research institutions and will be able to make valuable 
contributions to plant research along with U.S. scientists.
    At the hearing on plant biotechnology held by this Subcommittee 
back in September, several witnesses gave examples on how plant 
biotechnology is already having a positive impact in the developing 
world. Insect resistant potatoes are reducing crop losses from Potato 
Tuber Moth infestations in Egypt; in Kenya, virus resistant sweet 
potatoes have decreased crop losses by 25 percent; and in India, where 
18 percent of the children suffer from some level of vitamin A 
deficiency, which can lead to blindness, the development of ``golden 
mustard,'' which is high in vitamin A, has the potential to reduce 
suffering. Investment in basic research on plant biotechnology targeted 
to the agricultural needs of the developing world will lead to a better 
understanding of many types of crops and strengthen the capacity to 
develop and produce new and enhanced cultivars.
    NSF has already made important contributions to advance the 
knowledge base for plant biotechnology. I see this compromise bill as a 
way to build on that base and to use plant biotechnology to address 
agricultural issues and problems worldwide.
    Mr. Chairman, I thank you and Ranking Democratic Member Mr. Hall, 
my colleague from Texas, for bringing this bipartisan bill before the 
Committee.
    I commend the legislation to my colleagues and ask for their 
support.

    Chairman Boehlert. Let me first ask unanimous consent that 
the bill as amended by the Subcommittee on Research and 
Development on December 12, 2001 be considered as original text 
for the purpose of amendment and the bill be considered as read 
and open to amendment at any point. Without objection, so 
ordered.
    [H.R. 2051 follows:]
    
    
    Chairman Boehlert. Are there any amendments? Hearing none, 
the question is on the bill, H.R. 2051, A Bill to Provide for 
the Establishment of Regional Plant Genome and Gene Expression 
Research and Development Centers. All those in favor will say 
aye. All those opposed, no. The ayes have it. I now recognize 
Ms. Johnson for a motion.
    Ms. Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I move that the 
Committee favorably report H.R. 2051 as amended to the House 
with the recommendation that the bill as amended do pass. 
Furthermore, I move that the staff be instructed to prepare the 
legislative report and make necessary technical and conforming 
changes, and that the Chairman take all necessary steps to 
bring the bill before the House for consideration.
    Chairman Boehlert. The question is now the motion to report 
the bill favorably. Those in favor of the motion will signify 
by saying aye. Opposed, no. The ayes appear to have it and the 
bill is favorably reported. Without objection, the motion to 
reconsider is laid upon the table. I move that the members have 
two subsequent calendar days in which to submit supplemental 
minority or additional views on the measure. Without objection, 
so ordered. I move pursuant to Clause 1 of Rule 22 of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives that the Committee authorize 
the Chairman to offer such motions as may be necessary in the 
House to go to conference with the Senate on H.R. 2051 or a 
similar Senate bill. Without objection, so ordered.