Potential of GMO for emerging and developing economies

Potential of GMO for emerging and developing economies

19 June 2015. Gent, Belgium. Towards a generic market for genetically modified crops – Potential for emerging and developing economies.

Genetically Modified (GM) crops were commercially cultivated on over 180 M Ha in 2014, by both small and large-scale farmers. Since 2012, over half of the GM crops are cultivated in emerging and developing countries. Commercialized GM crops are protected by Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and governed by comprehensive (inter)national biosafety regulations.

The US patent on one of the first and most widely used GM crops, Roundup Ready soybean, recently expired. IPR on additional GM crop products will expire in the (near) future, thus opening the prospect of a GM crop generics industry. Similar to the pharmaceutical industry, the development of a generic market for GM crops could become a game-changer in the agricultural sector by providing GM crop products at reduced cost and by creating new opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises. This, in turn, could help address concerns by public interest groups related to GM crops and seed/food sovereignty.
The 2015 IIBN Forum brought together leading experts in the area of agricultural biotechnology to assess the opportunity and conditions for establishing a generic market for GM crops, in particular to support sustainable agricultural development in emerging and developing economies.

This international e-learning course is organized in cooperation with UNIDO as part of their e-Biosafety network and aims at training scientists and law specialists in biosafety expertise and evaluation both at governmental and industrial level. The course combines distance learning with on campus training at Ghent University.

The one year program, consisting of 8 modules, offers a solid base to set up and implement regulatory biosafety frameworks related to plant biotechnology, and assist in legislation and interpretation of biosafety risk assessment, risk management and communication to policymakers or the public.

Applications for the academic year 2015-2016 are open till August 31st 2015.

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