Archived news articles - 2007

GMAC Press Invite, 15 January 2007

Public Forum
"Commercialization of Biotech Crops 1996-2006: Future Prospects"

26th Jan 2007 (Friday), 0930
Lecture Theatre 3A/B, Matrix, Biopolis

The Genetic Modification Advisory Committee (GMAC) and the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) will be co-organizing a public forum to address key issues surrounding biotech (also known as genetically modified) crops.

Since 1996, the ISAAA has been publishing the Annual Global Review of Genetically Modified/Biotech Crops as ISAAA Briefs. These reviews are now widely recognized as the most authoritative source of information regarding the global status of biotech crops. It is noteworthy that the principal and country launches of the 2005 review collectively generated almost 1000 press articles and achieved 500 million impressions in 47 countries in 17 languages.

Dr Clive James, Chairman of the ISAAA Board of Directors and author of the annual reviews, will deliver the keynote lecture for the public forum. This public forum will be one of several events held worldwide in conjunction with the principle launch of the 2006 review in New Delhi.

The event will be hosted by Prof Lee Sing Kong, GMAC Deputy Chairman and Director of the National Institute of Education. Other experts in the field including Dr Ngiam Tong Tau (Chairman, GMAC) and Prof Paul Teng (Dean, Graduate Programmes and Research, NIE, and ISAAA Deputy Chairman) will also participate in the event.

This public forum is one of GMAC’s and ISAAA’s latest initiatives to share knowledge and to stimulate further discussions on GM technology and GM foods.

We invite all members of the press and public to attend the event.

Media interviews will be most welcome at the end of session. Please contact GMAC Secretariat for the necessary arrangements.

Keynote Lecture
In the early 1990s, some were skeptical that genetically modified (GM) or transgenic crops, now more often referred to as biotech crops, could deliver improved products and make an impact at the farm level. There was even more skepticism that the developing countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa could access and adopt biotech crops.

The first decade of commercialization of biotech crops, 1996-2005, witnessed unprecedented rapid global adoption in both industrial and developing countries, with a remarkable fifty-fold increase in global biotech crop area.

2006 was the first year of the second decade of commercialization of biotech crops (1996 –2015). The adoption of biotech crops, in 2006 and the period 1996 to 2006 is reviewed, within a broad framework, that addresses their adoption, impact, contribution to a more sustainable agriculture, and their contribution to food, feed, fiber and fuel production on a global basis. The keynote lecture will present an overview of the future prospects of biotech crops in the second decade of commercialization, including their potential contribution to the Millennium Development goal of alleviating poverty and hunger by 50% by 2015 and their potential role in the production of biofuels.

About the Speaker
Cambridge-educated agricultural scientist Clive James has always been dedicated to spreading life-saving technologies to those who need them most. Before founding the non-profit ISAAA in 1990 to help developing countries acquire agricultural biotechnology applications from the industrial countries, he spent ten years as Deputy Director General at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) in Mexico, where he worked with Dr. Norman Borlaug, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who is a patron of ISAAA. He has also served as Senior Agricultural Adviser to both the Canadian Bilateral Aid Agency (CIDA) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, and has consulted for many international development agencies including UNDP, the World Bank and many international philanthropic foundations. His internationally recognised Annual Reviews on the Global Status of GM crops have become the AgBiotech almanac.

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) is an international not-for-profit organization. It is working to contribute to the alleviation of hunger and poverty by sharing knowledge with global society about biotech crops and facilitating the sharing of crop biotechnology applications with resource-poor subsistence farmers in developing countries who stand to benefit most from biotech crops.

About GMAC
The Genetic Modification Advisory Committee (GMAC) is a multi-agency advisory committee established under the Ministry of Trade and Industry to oversee and advise on the research and development, production, use, handling and release of genetically modified organisms in Singapore. In our efforts to ensure public safety while allowing for the commercial use of GMOs and GMO-derived products by companies and research institutions, GMAC has released the Singapore Guidelines on the Release of Agriculture-Related GMOs and the Singapore Biosafety Guidelines for Research on GMOs. GMAC is also committed to its role in creating and enhancing public awareness on GMOs and GM-related issues

Issued by GMAC
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