Dear Forum Members,
Conference 5 of the FAO Biotechnology Forum, entitled 'Can agricultural biotechnology help to reduce hunger and increase food security in developing countries ?', began two weeks ago on 1 November and will run until 17 December. The aim of this e-mail is to briefly summarise progress and provide an update on the conference.
The conference has been very active. Over 190 Forum members have registered for the conference and 34 messages have been posted so far, some of very high quality. Messages have been posted by 17 different people from 13 different countries. Only 32% of messages posted so far are from participants in developing countries, so we encourage increased participation from Forum members in these countries.
Some of the topics that have been discussed in the conference include:
- The need for a complete research scientist team approach (i.e. including nutritionists, biotechnologists, socio-economists, agronomists) to tackle the complex question of food security and poverty eradication
- Whether private biotechnology companies have a genuine interest in helping the poor and hungry in developing countries
- Whether the underlying causes of hunger and poverty are due to genetic constraints or due to structural and policy-related problems
- The problem of access to food, leading to the paradox where people without money go hungry even though there may be large quantities of food in the shelves of developing countries
- Whether biotechnologies other than genetic modification of living organisms, such as marker-assisted selection, may reduce hunger and increase food security
- Whether genetic modification techniques, that can enable and consolidate increased import of food from developed to developing countries, might reduce food security
For those wishing to join Conference 5 and who have not yet done so, simply send an e-mail message to email@example.com leaving the subject blank and entering the one-line text message as follows:
For further information, have a look at the archives. Archives of posted messages can be received by e-mail once you have subscribed to the conference. Simply, send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the one-line message:
Alternatively, the messages can be viewed on the Forum website at http://www.fao.org/biotech/logs/c5logs.htm
The Forum Administrator