Science Speaks - Blog by ISAAA

ISAAA Subscribers Give High Ratings to E-newsletter, GM Approval Database, and Adoption Report

By Kristine Grace N. Tome
February 8, 2023

In the last quarter of 2022, ISAAA asked its community of users to provide ratings and feedback to its primary resource materials—Crop Biotech Update e-newsletter, GM Approval Database, and the global adoption report Brief 55. The materials were rated as highly useful for the users.

Biotech e-newsletter

Over 200 subscribers of the Crop Biotech Update (CBU) answered the survey, and 96% said that the weekly e-newsletter has been useful for them. Over 94% gave positive feedback regarding the clarity and coverage of the newsletter. More than half (61%) of the readers said they regularly use the CBU weekly. 

"As a farmer, the CBU helps to keep me abreast of the kinds of technology that might be out there to help address some of my most urgent issues," said one of the subscribers. Researchers and academics mentioned that the CBU had helped them get the latest biotechnology updates. A biosafety regulator noted that the CBU provides supporting data for risk assessment. 

When asked about the topics that can be included in the coverage, several users suggested news and research highlights about the use of biotechnology beyond crop improvement, such as for biodiversity conservation, livestock production, healthcare, and climate change mitigation. Thus, as of February 1, 2023, the ISAAA team has renamed their newsletter to “Biotech Updates” and expanded their coverage to include biotech applications in Plant, Animal, Food & Feed, Health, and the Environment. A new logo was also introduced to depict the newsletter’s mission to deliver a weekly summary of world developments in biotechnology relevant to sustainability and the improvement of human lives.

“As we expand our coverage on biotechnology reporting, we expect more individuals to subscribe to our newsletter to get updates on biotechnology and use the knowledge to achieve their respective targets. We are also inviting other like-minded institutions and organizations to join us in this mission to feed the world with more knowledge, by supporting the Biotech Updates. We are open to partnerships and collaborations that will help us provide a more holistic reporting on biotechnology,” said ISAAA Inc. Executive Director, Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita.

GM Approval Database

Feedback and suggestions were also solicited from the regular users and contributors of the GM Approval Database, who are mostly scientists/academics (61%). Other GMAD users are administrators, regulators, and media practitioners. Almost all of the respondents (99%) said that the database was useful for them, especially in getting approval updates, instruction, risk assessment/regulatory decisions, and planning control measures. High ratings were also given for its user-friendly interface (85%), accuracy of information (89%), and content (90%).

“The database provides the big picture of GM crop approvals in one place. It is also easy to use,” according to a GMAD user from France.

Global adoption report

ISAAA is the primary source of information on the global adoption of commercialized GM crops, which was featured in ISAAA Brief 55. Report users were asked about the usefulness, clarity, content, and accuracy of the information provided. The majority provided excellent scores and also suggested topics and improvements for future reports.

“It is vital for me. It is always necessary to communicate global adoption each year, especially now when it's crucial to inform decision makers in Colombia,” mentioned one of the respondents who is a media practitioner.

The ISAAA Inc. team extends their appreciation and gratitude to all who provided valuable feedback. New resources and upgrades have been lined up for 2023 in response to the continued patronage and support from the stakeholders.

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