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Nepad to set up advisory panel on biosafety.

Posted On Friday, 25 July 2003 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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 Cape Town The New Partnership for African Development (Nepad) is planning to set up an advisory panel on biotechnology and biosafety to guide African leaders through the controversial terrain of genetic engineering.

Science and Health Correspondent

John Mugabe science and technology adviser to Nepad









 The panel will be charged with developing an African strategy on biotechnology, including genetically engineered crops. The panel also will attempt to harmonise biosafety regulations between African countries to facilitate trade.

 John Mugabe, science and technology adviser to Nepad and one of the architects of the proposed panel, said it was critical for Africa to make up its own mind on whether to adopt biotechnology.

 "If Africa doesn't make a decision it is going to remain caught between the US and Europe positions," he said, referring to the trans-Atlantic war of words over the future of the technology.

 The US wants the European Union to relax restrictions on the importation of food products and animal feed with genetically engineered ingredients .

 In southern Africa, the debate has recently focused on whether biotechnology can improve food security in the region. The establishment of the advisory panel would require approval from the Nepad steering committee.

 Mugabe said the composition of the panel had not yet been finalised, but indicated that it would be a small multidisciplinary team of scientists, representatives from civil society, industry, senior policy makers and opinion leaders. 

Last modified on Thursday, 17 April 2014 11:22

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