To raise awareness of the issue of trade safety in genetically modified (GM) products, SEAMEO BIOTROP collaborates with the Indonesian Biotechnology Information Center (IndoBIC), The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), The Grain and Feed Trade Association ( GAFTA), The Canada Grains Council, and The Global Low-Level Presence Initiative (GLI) Secretariat held a webinar entitled The Low-Level Presence (LLP) Sharing Forum in the Asia Pacific (APAC) Region on 9th December 2021 via online zoom. This activity aims to share knowledge about biotechnology safety in general and the importance of LLP policies to facilitate effective trade, by emphasizing the perspective of importers, as well as sharing practical approaches to facilitating trade and the various policy options available to manage LLP.
This activity presented some resource persons who were stakeholders from both international and Indonesian, namely: Amelie Sirois-Leclerc (GLI Secretariat); Ratih Neumann (GAFTA); Krista Thomas (CGC); Dr. Ir. Musdalifah Machmud, MT (Deputy for Food and Agribusiness Coordination, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs); Drh. Indra Exploitasia, M.Si (Director of Biodiversity Conservation, Ministry of Environment and Forestry); Lu'lu Agustina, SP, M.Si (Head of Sub-Directorate of Preservation and Biosafety, Ministry of Environment and Forestry); Ir. Mastur, M.Si, Ph.D (Head of BB Biogen), and Prof. Dr. Ir. Bambang Prasetya, MSc. (Chairman of the Biosafety Commission).
The event was opened by the Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP, Dr. Zulhamsyah Imran. In his speech, he emphasized the importance of technological developments in increasing agricultural productivity, one of which was innovation in GE products. "This biotechnology can provide great benefits, especially for the use of agricultural products, such as increasing productivity, and plants that are resistant to pests," he said. But behind the benefits, there are still many who doubt the safety of this GE product. "Besides providing benefits, it also has risks that have an impact on human health, therefore there is a need for a study of biosafety and food safety which is a precautionary measure," he added.
Further in his speech, Dr. Ir. Fadjri Djufry, M.Si as the Head of the Agricultural Research and Development Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture also emphasized the security of trade in GE products. "This LLP sharing forum is expected to facilitate effective trade," he said. Transparent LLP policies will be needed to enable predictable trade, reliable supply of commodities, and access to innovation for farmers and consumers around the world.
The webinar was attended by 51 participants who are stakeholders spread from several agencies including Government, Private and Universities. (day)