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South Asia Biosafety Conference
Sep 23, 2016

Thirteen nations participated in the South Asia Biosafety Conference (SABC) held at Hyderabad recently, to share international experience amongst scientists and regulators in biotechnology, environmental risk assessment and biosafety regulation in South Asia.

  • The three-day annual event covered wide-ranging topics in biotechnology R&D and biosafety.
  • India has a robust regulatory framework for ensuring biosafety of all types of genetically engineered organisms under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • These regulations are supported by a series of guidelines to deal with various aspects.
  • Capacity-building and sharing of experience has to be a continuous activity to ensure effective implementation of the biosafety regulations.
  • Such activities also help in increasing awareness and creating an environment of understanding among various stakeholders.
  • The modern world is facing enormous challenges to achieve food security. In the backdrop of increasing demand for food, dwindling natural resources and increasing biotic and abiotic stresses as a result of intensification of agriculture and climate change, the world has no option, but to accelerate utilization of the available and emerging technologies for improving world food production.
  • Agriculture biotechnology is a powerful tool for addressing the emerging challenges, as already demonstrated by the fast adoption of such technologies in dealing with biotic and abiotic stresses.
  • More than two hundred participants from Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tajikistan, and USA took part in the Conference.
  • Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) guidance documents were released during the conference, recently adopted by the Indian regulatory authorities to strengthen the ERA process.
  • This is the fourth Conference, with the first three Conferences being held in New Delhi, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
  • SABC is organized on an annual basis in the South Asian region by ILSI Research Foundation, and Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL) under the South Asia Biosafety Programme.


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