Position Statements on Biotechnology

A National Biotechnology Strategy for South Africa

"The first century of the new millennium will not only belong to information and communications technology, as we are often led to believe, but also to biotechnology, and its immense potential to contribute to human and animal health, agriculture and food production, manufacturing and sustainable development". Dr. Ben Ngubane, South Africa's Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, stressed this point during his welcome address at the Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development, a parallel event to the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

Minister Ngubane said that while South Africa has a solid history of engagement in traditional biotechnology, it has failed to exploit recent advances in biotechnology. Thus, South Africa has designed a National Biotechnology Strategy to enable it to catch up with the progress of other developing countries like Cuba, Brazil and China. Key recommendations include the establishment of a government agency to champion biotechnology, proactive investment in human resources development and the strengthening of scientific and technological capabilities.

Though Minister Ngubane said that there was a need to continuously assess biotechnology programs within the framework of the South African constitution and to ensure that the country protects its own intellectual property rights. He stressed that technological innovation is essential for human progress.

International Support:

  1. International Organizations
  2. Africa
  3. Asia
  4. Europe
  5. North America
  6. Latin America
  7. Oceania

International Organizations

- Food and Agricultural Organization
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
- World Health Organization
- United Nations Development Programme
- United Nations Environment Programme
- Third World Academy of Sciences

- Agenda 21
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
- Vatican Pontifical Academy on Life

- International Council for Science Union

- International Life Sciences Institute


- International Society of African Scientists
- United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
- Africabio
- South African Minister Ngubane's statement at WSSD
- National Biotechnology Strategy for South Africa
- Former Kenyan President Moi's letter to US President Clinton

- Nigerian President Obasanjo's Statement


- Asian Development Bank
- Chinese Academy of Sciences
- Indian National Academy of Sciences
- National Academy of Science and Technology (Philippines)
- Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir's Speech at BioMalaysia 2002
- Policy Statement on Biotechnology (Philippines)


- Royal Society of London

- Prime Minister Blair's speech

- European Commission

- French Academy of Science

North America


United States of America

- American Medical Association
- American Society for Microbiology
- National Academy of Sciences
- National Research Council
- American Society of Plant Biologists
- Federation of Animal Science Societies
- American Midwest Farmers

  • American Agri-Women
  • American Soybean Association
  • National Chicken Council
  • National Corn Growers Association
  • National Cotton Council
  • National Milk Producers Federation
  • National Potato Council
  • National Turkey Federation
  • United Soybean Board


- Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee
- The Royal Society of Canada (The Canadian Academy of the Sciences and Humanities)
- Industry Canada (Federal Department of Industry)
- The 1998 Canadian Biotechnology Strategy: A Ongoing Renewal Process

Latin America

- Brazilian Academy of Sciences
- Mexican Academy of Sciences


- New Zealand Royal Commission

- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
- Australia New Zealand Food Authority
- Australian Biotechnology: A National Strategy (2000)

- National Farmers' Federation

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