January 10, 2024

Young, National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology Urge Action to Lead the “Age of Biology” for U.S. National Security

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), a commissioner on the bipartisan U.S. National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology, today issued the following statement regarding the release of the Commission’s interim report examining the critical intersection of emerging biotechnology and national security:

“Biotechnology presents tremendous opportunities for life sciences, manufacturing, agriculture, defense, and many other fields. Preserving America’s leading role in biotechnology is essential for our long-term economic and national security and will open up new opportunities across our nation. The analysis and action items included in this interim report are critical to our current and future national defense activities and American leadership in biotechnology,” said Senator Young.

The interim report includes the Commission’s first round of findings and recommendations for policymakers and outlines the promise of biotechnology for America’s national security and economic competitiveness. The report is available here.

In addition to reviewing findings so far, the Commissioners made several legislative recommendations ripe for congressional action in this year’s Farm Bill reauthorization.

“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,” write 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 National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology was established by Sec. 1091 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022. The Commission began its work in 2023, with a formal mandate to conduct a thorough review of advances in emerging biotechnology, provide an interim report to the President of the United States and the Armed Services Committees within one year, and submit a final unclassified report within two years to the President and the committees, including recommendations for action by Congress and the federal government.

In addition to Senator Young, the bipartisan Commission includes Chairman Dr. Jason Kelly, Vice Chair Dr. Michelle Rozo, Senator Alex Padilla (D- Calif.), Representative Stephanie Bice (R-Okla.-5), Representative Ro Khanna (D-Calif.-1), Paul Arcangeli, Dr. Angela Belcher, Dawn Meyerriecks, Dr. Eric Schmidt, Dr. Alexander Titus, and Dr. Dov Zakheim. Read more about each Commissioner here.