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Crop Biotech Update

ITIF Fellow Updates Indonesians on Biotech Realities in the EU

June 10, 2011

In a seminar organized by the Indonesian Center for Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources Research and Development (ICABIOGRAD), Dr. L. Val Giddings, senior fellow of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), gave an overview on biotechnology. Before an audience of around 100 from the academe, research community, and the public sector, Dr. Giddings presented the status of biotech crops globally; soy production and markets; the EU and vegetable protein supplies; the biotech issue and trade impacts; and the future of biotech crops.

Dr. Gidding highlighted the fact that "biotech crops around the world are moving to the second generation, while Europe is still struggling with the first. Farmers need a practical and realistic choice on whether or not they wish to adopt the technology." In Europe, he said that, decision on biotech crops is driven by politics rather than science. Politicians delay the various stages of the approval process that can lead to supply shortages and increased prices for Europe's animal feed and livestock industries.

He was optimistic that with the lessons learned from Europe, the Indonesians will not have second thoughts in adopting the technology. 

For information on this article and on biotechnology in Indonesia, contact Dewi Suryani at dewisuryani@biotrop.org.