Dr Joe Smith Welcomed as New Chair of ABCA



15 February 2022

The executive of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia (ABCA) is delighted to announce Dr Joe Smith as its new Chair.

Dr Smith brings to the role high-level regulatory scientific expertise and leadership which will further support ABCA continuing to provide credible, balanced and science-based information about the current and potential benefits of agricultural biotechnology for the nation’s farming sector.

As former national Gene Technology Regulator, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and Director of the Therapeutic Goods Administration Laboratories, Dr Smith has had an extensive and distinguished career leading key Australian regulatory authorities.

On a global scale, Dr Smith has been actively engaged in the significant issues of biotechnology and agricultural chemicals regulation through forums such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and World Health Organisation. He is also currently President of the International Society for Biosafety Research, an organisation that brings together researchers, technology developers, industry, regulators and non-government organisations to engage in meaningful dialogue about cutting-edge biotechnology and biosafety research, risk analysis, policy, regulation and communication.

The appointment of someone with such standing speaks to the important role of ABCA in improving accessibility of new agricultural biotechnology innovations to deliver a more sustainable, productive and profitable future for Australian agriculture.

“It’s an honour to be able to continue to serve the sector at a time of great opportunity for Australian agriculture and food security, said Dr Smith.

“It’s vital that the Australian farming sector can access and adopt new technologies in an environment where there is good awareness of the science and realistic appreciation of risk. For this to happen there needs to be open and transparent dialogue.

“At its core, ABCA encourages informed debate about agricultural biotechnology so that the public and particularly primary producers can make well-informed decisions about the future application of biotechnology in Australia,” concluded Dr Smith.

Dr Smith will be supported by ABCA’s secretariat, founding members, council members and Patrons, The Hon. John Anderson AO and Professor Adrienne Clarke AC.

The executive also thanks Mr Ken Matthews AO who was ABCA’s independent chairman of for eight years and acknowledges his commitment and significant contribution to ensuring science and evidence-based information about agricultural biotechnology is widely available.

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