Jim Gaffney, Ph.D.

Strategy Lead, Biotech Affairs and Regulatory, DuPont Pioneer

As a former farm kid, I’m grateful my work as a regulatory product strategy lead at DuPont Pioneer keeps me connected to my roots. I started with Pioneer in fall 2010 and work on advancing agronomic traits like those that help our crops better use water and nitrogen. We raised corn, soybeans, and hogs on our farm in southwest Minnesota, and not surprisingly, my undergrad degree is from the University of Minnesota. I earned my master’s from South Dakota State University and my Ph.D. at the University of Florida. I’m particularly passionate about improving African Agriculture – an interest that dates back to my time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, Central Africa, where I worked at an agricultural technical school.

From this Expert

Posted On: Wednesday, 10/02/2013 12:03 am
A: I, too, read the Motley Fool post and was a bit alarmed, to say the least, because I work for one of the large multinationals named in the article, and my wife’s large and extended family includes members in both urban and rural areas of Africa.  I’ve experienced their challenges to produce food and get the next meal on the table, and was surprised to learn, according to this article, that I’m preventing food security. But I’ve also discovered since first reading that Motley Fool’s source... Continue Reading
Posted On: Wednesday, 9/11/2013 4:05 pm
A: One of our research priorities is developing corn hybrids that use nitrogen more efficiently. A corn plant utilizes nitrogen in multiple ways, including how the plant takes in nitrogen, stores it, and remobilizes it. While I can’t comment on the work by Arcadia, DuPont researchers are taking multiple approaches to developing plants that use nitrogen more efficiently. We are applying transgenic, molecular and conventional breeding methods to enhance nitrogen utilization in corn hybrids.... Continue Reading
Posted On: Friday, 8/09/2013 2:48 am
A: This question is personally interesting to me because during my time in the Peace Corps, I saw firsthand how tough conditions could devastate crops, how difficult subsistence farming can be, and the importance of risk management – farmers in developing countries have very few safety nets so each new cropping season is critical. But I’ve also had the chance to see how biotechnology can make a difference for farmers and their communities. So I have high expectations for biotechnology and believe... Continue Reading
Posted On: Monday, 8/05/2013 6:10 pm
A: If you’re interested in learning more about agriculture chemical use over time, please see an earlier response I drafted, posted here. Pesticides in use today have been thoroughly evaluated for environmental and human safety. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates the sale and use of pesticides and requires robust studies and lengthy testing to demonstrate safety before any product reaches the market. Many products on the market today have specific modes of action for a target... Continue Reading
Posted On: Saturday, 8/03/2013 12:46 am
A: First, it’s important to note that the report you reference was criticized when it was released. Although the report claimed “the true burden of environmentally-induced (i.e., pollution) cancer has been grossly underestimated,” an ABC News reporter wrote “…it was difficult to find solid science to back that strong statement” and the American Cancer Society pointed out in a statement about the report that its conclusion “does not represent scientific consensus” but rather “... Continue Reading


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