Biotech Updates

Biotech Players Discuss International Agreements Related to Agri-biotech

November 8, 2017

Some 36 biotech players from 15 countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe gathered for a workshop on regulatory, scientific, and communication aspects of implementation of international agreements relevant to agri-biotechnology. The event was held on November 6-7, 2017 at Monash University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The participants include biotechnology scientists, science communicators, and representatives from public and private sectors.

Prof. Piet van der Meer, a biologist and lawyer from Ghent University and Free University of Brussels, led the discussions on the international agreements, as well as key topics such as risk assessment, socio-economic considerations, and public awareness. Perspectives from the public and private sectors were delivered by Prof. Desiree Hautea, a University of the Philippines Los Baños scientist, Dr. Felicity Keeper, Global Regulatory Manager at Bayer Australia and Dr. Lucia de Souza of the Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI). Dr. Mahaletchumy Arujanan, Executive Director of Malaysian Biotechnology Information Center (MABIC), discussed the considerations in facilitating public acceptance of biotechnology.

The documentary titled Food Evolution was also shown to the public during the event. After the film showing, biotech experts, Prof. van der Meer, Dr. Randy Hautea (ISAAA Global Coordinator), Dr. Vilasni Pillai (Head of Biotechnology Department at Quest International University), Mr. Bhagirath Choudhary (South Asia Biotechnology Center Director), and Dr. Margaret Karembu (ISAAA AfriCenter Director) further explained their viewpoints on the benefits of biotechnology. Questions from the students about biotechnology were also addressed by the experts.

The event was organized by ISAAA, Monash University, MABIC, PRRI, and Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMSTECH).

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