Biotech Updates

ISAAA-B-SAFE Webinar Series Continues to Promote Awareness of Animal Biotech

February 1, 2023

ISAAA Inc.'s first webinar of the year, titled Biotechnology Applications and Impact on the Philippine Livestock Industry, was held on January 31, 2023, via Zoom. It was conducted in partnership with Winrock International through the Building Safe Agricultural Food Enterprises (B-SAFE) Project to highlight the current opportunities and potential benefits with trait improvements of livestock-related to food and agriculture and resilience to climate change in the Philippines.

The webinar was attended by 192 participants from around the world who were welcomed by Dr. Claro Mingala, Director of the Department of Agriculture Biotech Program Office, during his open remarks. The attendees were able to gain a better understanding of the global animal biotechnology applications in the livestock industry through the expertise of Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension Specialist on Animal Genomics and Biotechnology from the Department of Animal Science at the University of California Davis. Dr. Van Eenennaam explained how biotechnology offered an approach to introduce useful genetic variation and alleles without the “linkage drag” typically associated with conventional cross breeding. She also mentioned that genetic traits that include disease resistance, heat tolerance, growth, and animal welfare traits that are difficult to address using conventional livestock breeding could be easily targeted using genetic techniques.

Dr. Marvin A. Villanueva, Chief of the Livestock Biotech Center in the Philippines and the National R&D Coordinator of the Philippine Carabao Center, then presented the status of livestock biotechnology research in the Philippines. He highlighted the challenges currently being faced by the country's livestock industry, how biotechnology and its modern tools can address these challenges and bring benefits to farmers and consumers, and the Philippine regulations that guide Filipino scientists in using livestock biotechnology.

An interactive exchange of ideas among the participants and resource speakers followed the presentations through poll questions and an open forum. Dr. Ramon Clarete, Chief of Party of the B-SAFE Project, concluded the webinar with his closing remarks. The event was moderated by Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita, Executive Director of ISAAA Inc.

The next B-SAFE webinar will discuss the advancement of fish and aquaculture biotechnology in the Philippines. To learn more about this event, subscribe to the Biotech Updates and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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