Crop Biotech Update

ISAAA Presents 2019 Biotech Adoption Findings to Stakeholders in Europe and South America

January 6, 2021

ISAAA, together with its partners in The Netherlands and Argentina, conducted two separate webinars to share the latest ISAAA report on the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2019 to stakeholders in Europe and South America.

On December 16, 2020, ISAAA, Wageningen University and Research, Public Religion Research Institute, Asociación Agraria de Jóvenes Agricultores, and Farmers Scientists Network jointly organized a webinar for stakeholders in Europe. Prof. Justus Wesseler of the Wageningen University and Research moderated a panel consisting of ISAAA Chair Dr. Paul S. Teng, ISAAA Global Coordinator Dr. Mahaletchumy Arujanan, ISAAA AfriCenter Program Officer Ms. Bibiana Iraki, Mr. Max Kardung of Wageningen University and Research, and Mr. Daniel Magondu of the Society for Biotech Farmers of Kenya.

Kardung, in particular, expressed his appreciation for new plant breeding techniques. He also stressed the importance of shifting from a fossil-based economy to a bio-based economy, especially to combat climate change. To achieve this shift, he said that new breeding technologies need to be supported and Europe is currently falling behind in this field. "Biotechnological innovations are very crucial devices to development in the future. We already know that we cannot stop climate change completely, so we need to start thinking about how to increase our capacity to adapt to these changes that will come. Biotech crops can deliver a lot of tools to manage to climate change," he said. "We should not only look at the risks of new technologies such as gene editing, but we also have to look at the risk of continuing the day we are doing now. We have to ask ourselves if we can afford not to use all the tools that we have to address this big challenge," he added.

A similar webinar was organized for the South American public by ISAAA, the University of Quilmes, the Argentine Chamber of Biotechnology, the Gabriel Moreno University of Bolivia, and the Zamorano University of Honduras on December 18, 2020. Dr. Martin Lema of the University of Quilmes moderated the panel among ISAAA and Dr. Frederico Trucco, Carlos Rivadeneira, and Rogelio Trabanino, representatives of the said partner institutions. The webinar was mostly delivered in Spanish to make sure that the message about the benefits of biotechnology gets clear through the Latin American community. Aside from the ISAAA report delivered by Dr. Paul Teng, the Biotech Crop Adoption and Challenges experienced by both Bolivia and Honduras were also discussed.

ISAAA will continue to hold webinars with its global partners. For more information, send an e-mail to knowledgecenter@isaaa.org.

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