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The Associated Press November 17, 2010, 12:07PM ET

Biotech industry group spent $2.1M lobbying in 3Q

The Biotechnology Industry Organization spent just over $2.1 million lobbying the federal government in the third quarter on health care, agricultural, and economic issues affecting the biotech industry.

That's about a 19 percent boost from just under $1.8 million it spent during the same period in 2009, according to a recent disclosure form. The spending marks a 5 percent boost from just over $2 million spent by the trade group during this year's second quarter.

The industry group, whose members include biotech drug developers like Amgen Inc. and a range of other biotech companies, lobbied on a very broad range of issues related to the industry. During the July to September period, the group focused on issues including agricultural biotechnology and genetically engineered animals, drug importation safety, bioterrorism preparedness, intellectual property, and biofuels.

The organization supports efforts to move forward the genetic engineering of animals, including salmon, citing the potential for providing sustainable food sources. Other issues include using genetic engineering to improve crop yields and resistance to environmental stresses.

The drug development industry remained a focus during the period, with issues ranging from tax credits and drug plan reimbursements, to federal funding of stem cell research and tax credits.

Besides Congress, the group lobbied the National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, Agriculture Department, Health and Human Services Department, FDA and other agencies, according to a form filed Oct. 20 with the House clerk's office.

Among those registered to lobby during the period on behalf of BIO were: Bill Olson, former legislative assistant for Rep. John Shimkus, R.-Ill.; Patrick Carroll, former legislative assistant to Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill.; Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, former deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for agricultural affairs at the White House; Brent DelMonte, former counsel for the House committee on Energy and Commerce, focusing on food and drug issues; and Tom Dilenge, chief counsel and policy director for the House Homeland Security Committee and former senior counsel for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Other lobbyists included Matthew O'Mara, formerly with the Foreign Agricultural Services of the USDA and David Edwards, a former staff member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Lobbyists also included Matt Carr, a former Energy and Environment Fellow on the Senate Agriculture Committee for Sen. Tom Harkin, D.-Iowa.

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