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Hawaii State Representatives Honored as BIO Legislators of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Monday, August 02, 2010) - The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced its selection today of Hawaii State Representatives Calvin Say (20th District), who serves as the Speaker of the House, and Clift Tsuji (3rd District) as BIO Co-Legislators of the Year in recognition of their leadership and support of the agricultural bioscience industry. 

“Both Speaker Say and Rep. Tsuji understand and embrace the benefits of biotechnology and recognize its important role in fostering the growth of ag commodities like seed corn, soybean, sunflowers, and cotton.  Their individual business expertise and understanding of the issues critical to the agriculture industry have benefited the people of Hawaii tremendously,” said Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of BIO. 

Hawaii’s $200 million seed crop industry leads the state’s agricultural biotech sector and employs nearly 2,000 residents on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, and Maui.

Both Rep. Tsuji, who currently serves as Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, and Speaker Say, a previous Vice-Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, have demonstrated consistent leadership and support for agricultural biotechnology as a means of creating a more abundant and reliable food supply by increasing crop yields, enhancing resistance to pests and diseases, and enabling farmers to grow crops in a more environmentally sustainable way.

“Speaker Say and Rep. Tsuji have been vocal proponents of agricultural biotechnology as an economic and fiscal contribution to the state, and the potential of genetically engineered crops to help feed the world,” said Fred Perlak, President of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association. “For the good of the state, both of these individuals have worked effectively and tirelessly to minimize policies that would otherwise negatively impact this vital industry.”

Speaker Say and Rep. Tsuji will receive the awards tomorrow during a luncheon held in their honor.

Speaker Say was elected to the 20th District in the State House of Representatives in 1976. He represents the Oahu island communities of St. Louis Heights, Palolo Valley, Maunalani Heights, Wilhelmina Rise, and Kaimuki.

Rep. Tsuji was elected to the 3rd District in the State House of Representatives in 2004. He represents the Hawaii island communities of South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, and Kurtistown.

Upcoming BIO Events

BIO India
September 21 - 22, 2010
Hyderabad, India

BIO’s Livestock Biotechnology Summit
September 28-30, 2010,
Sioux Falls, SD

BIO Investor Forum
October 5-6, 2010
San Francisco, CA

BIO Intellectual Property Counsels Committee Fall Conference and Committee Meeting
October 18-20, 2010
Boston, MA

Advanced Business Development Course
November 12-14, 2010
Munich, Germany

BIO-Europe International Partnering Conference
November 15-17, 2010
Munich, Germany

Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
December 11-14, 2010
Honolulu, HI 

About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIO produces BIOtech Now, an online portal and monthly newsletter chronicling “innovations transforming our world.” Subscribe to BIOtech Now.