Agricultural Biotechnologies
Agricultural Biotechnologies in crops, forestry, livestock, fisheries and agro-industry  Biotech-banner

Here are all the FAO press releases in recent years that specifically focus on biotechnology.

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FAO survey shows 25 countries blocked imports after finding traces of GMOs.

Rome - The increased production of genetically modified crops around the globe has led to a higher number of incidents of low levels of GMOs being detected in traded food and feed, FAO said today.


From breeding to bugs, a new FAO publication looks at biotechnologies at work in small-scale crop, livestock and fish production.

Rome - A new FAO publication calls for greater national and international efforts to bring agricultural biotechnologies to smallholder producers in developing countries. The publication, "Biotechnologies at Work for Smallholders: Case Studies from Developing Countries in Crops, Livestock and Fish", asserts biotechnologies can help smallholders to improve their livelihoods and food security.

©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Participation of small farmers and producers in decision making process is needed

Guadalajara, México - Agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries should address the specific needs of smallholders and, to do so, should encourage their participation and that of all stakeholders in the decision making process, the participants of an international technical conference held in Guadalajara, Mexico stated today.

©FAO/M. Namundjebo

Mexico conference takes stock of conventional biotechnology applications in food and agriculture

Guadalajara, Mexico - The focus of modern and conventional biotechnologies should be redirected so as to benefit poor farmers in poor countries and not only rich farmers in rich countries, FAO said today.

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FAO publishes study on marker-assisted selection

Rome -The biotechnology tool of marker-assisted selection (MAS) has raised high expectations for increasing genetic progress through breeding. Some experts have even argued that the application of MAS could “revolutionize” the way varieties and breeding stock are developed.

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New FAO publication on agricultural genetic resources.

Rome - Developing countries should be enabled to fully exploit biotechnology tools, when appropriate, in order to stop the decline of agricultural biodiversity and to use their wealth of genetic resources in a sustainable way, according to FAO.

©FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri

FAO calls for systematic assessment of genetically modified trees.

Rome - Research and applications of biotechnology in forestry are advancing rapidly, FAO said today.

©FAO/Franco Mattioli

Research being conducted on GM crops and traits more relevant for food security.

Rome - Several developing countries now have well-developed biotechnology programmes; they are approaching the leading edge of biotechnology applications and have significant research capacity, according to a new FAO assessment on the status of research and application of crop biotechnologies in developing countries.

©FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri

FAO expert consultation recommends guidelines and methodologies.

Rome - A consultation of experts convened at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), recommended that any responsible deployment of Genetically Modified (GM) crops needs to comprise the whole technology development process, from the pre-release risk assessment, to biosafety considerations and post release monitoring.

©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Director-General Jacques Diouf outlines his views on use of biotechnology

Rome -- FAO Director-General Dr Jacques Diouf has sent the following letter to NGOs in response to their criticism of FAO's recent State of Food and Agriculture report.

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A new tool to help determine if a genetically modified plant is a weed.

Rome -- New guidelines for determining if a living modified organism (LMO) poses a hazard to plants have been published by FAO.

©FAO/ Jon Spaull

Only a few countries are benefiting so far - food crops of the poor need more attention.

Rome -- Biotechnology holds great promise for agriculture in developing countries, but so far only farmers in a few developing countries are reaping these benefits, FAO said in its annual report 'The State of Food and Agriculture 2003-04', released today.

©FAO/ Jon Spaull

Biotechnology - the gap between poor and rich countries is widening.

Rome -- The promises and potential of biotechnology are not equally shared between developed and developing countries, the FAO Assistant Director-General, Louise Fresco, said in a statement issued today.


©FAO/Alberto Conti

JOHANNESBURG - Countries in Southern Africa whose populations are facing a devastating drought should carefully consider current scientific knowledge before rejecting food aid containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said.

©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Rome/Geneva -- A Task Force of the Codex Alimentarius Commission has reached agreement on a final draft of "Principles for the risk analysis of foods derived from biotechnology," the UN Food and Agriculture Organzation (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today.

©FAO/Antonello Proto

Stockholm - Biotechnology and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can help to increase the supply, diversity and quality of food products and reduce costs of production and environmental degradation, as the world still grapples with the scourge of hunger and malnutrition, Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a speech in Stockholm today. The environmental risks of biotechnology should, however, be openly addressed and the new technology should not be allowed to widen the gap between rich and poor nations, he said.

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Rome - "Genetically modified organisms (GMOs), like all the new technologies, are instruments that can be used for good and for bad in the same way that they can be either managed to the benefit of the most needy or skewed to the advantage of specific groups," the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General Jacques Diouf said today.

©FAO/Roberto Faidutti

Rome/Geneva - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have published new recommendations to strengthen the process used to protect consumers from the risk that some genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could pose for a small percentage of people with food allergies.

©FAO/Jon Spaull

Rome -- The joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission's Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology have made significant progress in setting standards for foods derived from biotechnology, the two UN agencies announced today. Codex Alimentarius is the body charged with the development of international standards for food safety and consumer protection.

©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Rome - Biotechnology provides powerful tools for the sustainable development of agriculture, fisheries and forestry and can be of significant help in meeting the food needs of a growing and increasingly urbanized population, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in its first statement on biotechnology, published today. In the case of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), however, FAO called for "a cautious case-by-case approach to determine the benefits and risks of each individual GMO" and to address the "legitimate concerns for the biosaftey of each product and process prior to its release."

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Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries (ABDC-10) Conference