Crop Biotech Update

Scientists and Regulators Tackle Issues on Agri-biotech and Biosafety in Jember, Indonesia

July 31, 2019

Global population increases every year; however, agricultural productivity has been affected by the impact of climate changeAgricultural biotechnology offers scientific and technological innovation to overcome the problems and to sustain food security. These key points were discussed by Prof. Bambang Sugiharto from the University of Jember, Indonesia during the International Seminar and Workshop on Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety conducted in Jember, Indonesia on July 10-11, 2019. Prof. Sugiharto added that he expected the seminar to provide the participants with better understanding of various issues on technology, utilization, and management of agricultural biotechnology. Almost 170 participants including biosaftey regulators, scientists, government representatives, and representatives from the private sector attended the event.

Prof. Karim Maredia from Michigan State University (MSU) presented advanced agricultural biotechnology and regulation. He said that every technology has benefits and risks, and biosafety issues are not unique to GE crops. Dr. Roy A. Sparingga from Indonesian National Biosafety Commission for Genetically Engineered Products presented the regulation of genetically engineered products in Indonesia. He defined seom effective strategies in risk communication such as enhancing communication between risk assessor, risk manager and the community; developing public outreach program to targeted audience; building influencers; and using the power of personal stories. Dr. Ruth Mbabazi from MSU and Prof. Sugiharto facilitated the workshop on biosafety assessment of GM crops. After workshop, the participants visited laboratory and confined field trials of GM sugarcane with high sugar production and resistant to sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV).

For more information about biotech developments in Indonesia, visit the website of Indonesian Biotechnology Information Centre.

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