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(Philadelphia, PA) -- David C. Magnus, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been named by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman to a new Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture. Magnus also serves as the Graduate Studies in Bioethics Director at PENN.

The 18-person Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture is charged with examining the long-term impacts of biotechnology on the U.S. food and agriculture system and providing guidance to the USDA on pressing individual issues related to the application of biotechnology in agriculture. Appointees will serve one- or two-year terms; and may be reappointed to serve up to six years. The Committee's membership includes leaders in biotechnology, food and seed industries, farmers, environmental and consumer organizations, academia, international plant research centers, and produce shippers and traders.

"I am pleased to serve on this committee. The complexity of the ethical, social, and scientific issues associated with biotechnology and agriculture make it imperative that thoughtful, careful reflection should guide our deliberations," states Magnus.

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $6.7 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2016 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2016, Penn Medicine provided $393 million to benefit our community.

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