Crop Biotech Update

Short Course Exposes Asian Stakeholders to Agri-biotech Communication

August 22, 2018

A total of 28 biotech players from Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Pakistan participated in the first Asian Short Course on Agri-biotechnology, Biosafety Regulations, and Communication (ASC2018) in Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia from August 13-17, 2018. The Asian regional short course was organized to give better understanding to the participants on the entire value chain related to research, development, commercialization, and trade of living modified organisms (LMOs); national and international legal instruments related to LMOs; and effective communication of agri-biotech and biosafety regulations. It is intended to enable them to effectively participate in the developing and implementation of national and international legal instruments and engage in public outreach activities.

The participants visited the Plant Biotech Facility in University of Malaya; Sime Darby Research Center in Carey Island, where they were briefed about oil palm breeding, cultivation, and downstream processes; Department of Biosafety Malaysia to understand Malaysian biosafety law and regulations; and Cargill and Westport to see how GM grains are transported and the biosafety law in this area.

The participants also attended pre-COPMOP workshop on Current and Emerging Topics Under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Protocols from August 14-16 together with other Asian delegates.

Among the faculty members of the ASC2018 were Prof Piet van der Meer, a biologist and lawyer from Ghent University; Dr. Lucia de Souza from Public Research and Regulation Initiative; Dr. Ranjini Warrier, former adviser of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change of India; Prof. Kazuo Watanabe from University of Tsukuba, Japan; Dr. Samantha O'loughlin from Target Malaria; Prof. Selim Cetiner from Sabanci University in Turkey; and Dr. Craig Cormick from Australia; Dr Mahaletchumy Arujanan, executive director of Malaysian Biotechnology Information Centre (MABIC), and Prof. Desiree Hautea from University of Philippines Los Banos.

This short course is a joint effort of Global Asia in the 21st Century (GA21) of Monash University Malaysia and MABIC, with the support of other international partners such as University of Tsukuba, Japan; Sabanci Universitesi, Turkey; Universiteit Gent; Vrije Universiteit Brussel; and in collaboration with Department of Biosafety, Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources, Malaysia.

For more details, contact maha@bic.org.my.