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9-Misc: ISAAA informed Bangladesh journalists about genetic engineering



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TITLE:  GM crops to ensure food
SOURCE: The New Nation, Bangladesh
        http://nation.ittefaq.com/artman/publish/article_22733.shtml
DATE:   25 Oct 2005

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GM crops to ensure food

Agricultural biotechnology and its proper utilisation can meet the
challenge of the next century for ensuring food and nutrition security in
the developing countries, including Bangladesh, said biotechnology
campaigners.

They called for stocking the country with research equipment, including
lab facilities and supply of chemicals and building up trained manpower.

International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Application
(ISAAA) and Bangladesh Biotechnology Information Centre (BdBIC) jointly
organised an opinion exchange meeting with journalists on "Biotechnology
and Biosafety Issues: Public Perception Through Civil Society and Media
Professionals" at the National Press Club in the city yesterday.

Prof Shahria Akhter Hossain Bulu, MP, said as chief guest, "The age-old
thinking of the farmers and lawmakers and the conventional technology in
agriculture could not fulfill the demand of food as well as nutrition."

She added, "To enhance productivity and value addition to agricultural
produces through genetically modified (GM) food, biotechnology is a
modern tool."

Mostafa Kamal Majumder, Editor of The New Nation, said, "Approach should
be balanced for the modification of the technology and initiatives should
be taken for the implementation of bio-technology in the country."

He urged publication of glossary of biotechnology for the journalists so
that they can easily understand the technical terms and implement this in
their writing for the benefit of the mass people.

Prof Lutful Hassan, Genetic and Plant Breeding Department of Bangladesh
agricultural university said, "The GM crops would not create any adverse
impact since GM seeds would grow with the same qualities as the parent
crops but will have additional improved specific attributes like pest and
disease resistance."

He added that the country would not lose its biodiversity, as about 600
conventional species of rice seeds were stored in the gene bank of BARI.

The speakers also said that there should be a balanced approach relating
to the biotechnology as well as genetically modified food with their
negative aspects while informing the target people particularly the newsmen.

Regarding the controversy of the quality of GM crops, they said,
"Transplantation of the quality of gene is obviously harmless as it is
easily digested in the human body.

The government would approve the bio-safety guideline and biotechnology
policy soon, sources said adding that the bio-safety outline would ensure
the safe use of biotechnology.

Prof Dr KM Nasiruddin, ISAAA National Coordinator, Anwarul Azim Akhand,
Chairman of Genetic Engineering Department of Dhaka University, also
spoke on the occasion.




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