Strengthening regulatory capacity and exchanging technical information for the safe introduction and use of agricultural biotechnology products will be the topic of an APEC annual meeting in Santiago, Chile from November 14 to 22.
The meeting is a forum for APEC agricultural experts from Member Economies to cover biotechnology research applications in aquaculture and food, the global status of transgenic crops, and applications for animal health and production. Economies will also report on the current status of their agricultural biotechnology programs.
"Chile recognizes the important contribution agricultural biotechnology makes to the agricultural sectors of APEC economies and welcomes the opportunity to host this meeting of APEC experts," said Dr Carlos Munoz, the conference organizer.
"Particular priorities for the workshop include promoting transparent, science-based approaches to risk assessment and risk management, including interactions with stakeholders and encouraging effective communications approaches to enhance public awareness and understanding of agricultural biotechnology."
"Participants will also seek to link APEC Economies with the work of other international and regional organizations, such as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the Codex Alimentarius and other Inter-Governmental Agencies."
The meeting is being organized by APEC's Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group's (ATCWG) Sub-Group on Research, Development, and Extension of Agricultural Biotechnology (RDEAB) and hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mr. Bart Bilmer from the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency and Shepherd of the RDEAB said the special two-day session will focus on capacity building in the area of communications and combining 'best practices' along with theory in a hands on-style workshop.
"RDEAB's revised communications guide 'Communicating About Agricultural Biotechnology in APEC Economies: A Best Practices Guide' is an essential tool to help APEC Economies effectively communicate these issues to the public, producers and stakeholders", Mr. Bilmer said
"RDEAB's work this year also includes a report on an Agricultural Biotechnology Crops in Centres of Origin workshop and an evaluation of RDEAB's work during the last six years.
"The future work of the group will be based on the results of the evaluation and take into account the latest scientific and international developments in agricultural biotechnology as well as the work of other APEC bodies whose work touches upon agricultural biotechnology.
"We are looking forward to a productive week that will benefit both farmers and the food consumers of our region."