Biotech Updates

GM and Society Forum in Beijing

May 18, 2012

GM and Society Forum was organized by the Beijing Institute of Life Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing on May 9, 2012. Researchers from life and social sciences, biotechnology entrepreneurs, social media and graduate students attended the forum. The topic discussed included trends of GM technology and its impact on agriculture and economy, GMO safety, and science communication in biotechnology.

Prof. Huang Dafang of the Biotechnology Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences spoke on  The Keynote of Agriculture Reformation is S&T Innovation. Huang pointed out that the gap of maize production in China will be up to several million tons in the next five years. Biotechnology is an inevitable choice to ensure national food security. Academician Chen Junshi from Chinese Academy of Engineering elaborated on the safety assessment content of GMO and pointed out that " the evidence of the safety of approved GM products is sufficient. Biotechnology should be used to improve human life."

Wang Dayuan, a Chinese biologist residing in the U.S., discussed the safety of Bt protein under the background of 16 years of commercialization of GM maize, and enumerated a list of staple food containing Bt protein in the U.S. market. Dr. Mariechel Navarro, Manager of the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, ISAAA spoke on the Communication Challenges in Crop Biotechnology: The Asia Pacific Experience. Dr. Navarro said, "An appreciation of science communication and appropriate strategies has led to a better understanding of the societal environment where the technology can best thrive."

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