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Checkbiotech: Chief of UN agency replies to concerns on food gene transfers
Posted by: DR. RAUPP & madora (IP Logged)
Date: June 21, 2004 12:33PM Manfred G.Raupp;

The world population will increase from 6 billion to 9 billion by 2050,
requiring a 60 per cent increase in food production, and developing
countries must increase their scientific capabilities to meet that
challenge, the head of the United Nations Food and Agricultural
Organization (FAO) said; June 2004. By Jacques Diouf

Executive Director Jacques Diouf was responding to an open letter from
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) charging that FAO s State of Food
and Agriculture report for this year omitted to mention that five
companies make up virtually 100 per cent of the transgenic seed market, a
situation for which, they said, FAO should propose alternatives.

Since expanding arable land was increasingly not feasible, Mr. Diouf said,
we will have to use the scientific tools of molecular biology, in
particular the identification of molecular markers, genetic mapping and
gene transfer for more effective plant enhancement, going beyond the
phenotype-based methods.

Decisions on the rules and utilization of these techniques must, however,
be taken at the international level by competent bodies, such as the Codex

The Codex Alimentarius Commission was created in 1963 by FAO and the World
Health Organization (WHO) to develop food standards, protect the health of
consumers, ensure fair food trade practices and promote the coordination
of all food standards work undertaken by international and governmental
agencies and NGOs.

Developing countries should take part in the decision-making, develop
their scientific capacity and master the necessary expertise and
techniques so that they can understand the implications and make
independent choices in order to reach an international consensus on issues
that concern all of humanity, Mr. Diouf said.

In accordance with its mandate, FAO would promote an international
dialogue based on sound scientific principles and allowing the analysis of
socio-economic, sanitary and environmental issues, he said.


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