Dr Bambang Purwantara, the Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP has been invited as speaker on a seminar on ”Update on Biotechnology in Food Industry “ conducted on March 17, 2011 at the IPB International Conference Centre Bogor. The event was organized by Food Review Indonesia, SEAFAST Centre and supported by CropLife International. The objective of the seminar was to make the public and stakeholders aware about the recent status of biotechnology products especially in food industry. Some 100 participants attended the event including decision makers, food and agro-industries, acedeme as well as students.
Other prominent speakers include Prof. Antonius Suwanto of Bogor Agricultural University, Ir. Tetty Sihombing, MP of National Agency for Food and Drug Control, Dr. Siang Hee Tan of CropLife Asia, Dr. Dahrul Syah of Bogor Agricultural University and PT. Saraswati Indo Genetech.
Dr. Bambang Purwantara, who is also IndoBIC Director and President of Indonesian Society for Agriculture Biotechnology discussed the opportunities and challenges of biotechnology application for Indonesia food security. Biotechnology have to support Indonesian Economy Triple-Tracks Strategy (pro-growth, pro-employment, pro-poor) including improvement of investment system and export. In order to support economic growth above 6.5% in 2011, biotechnology, among other parameters may take pivotal role. Biotechnology may increase capacity of industry to absorb more working force; and revitalization of agricultural sector and rural economy to strengthen food security and poverty alleviation. Furthermore Dr Bambang, who is also member of Biosafety Comission updated the recent status of biosafety and food safety assessment. Bt-Corn NK603 and Bt-Corn MON89034 have already received Food-safety Certificate for human consumption by Indonesian Biosafety Commission on 22 February 2011.
In addition, Prof Antonius Suwanto explained the issues and food biotechnology development and its relevance to Indonesia food security. According to him, there are several issues in food biotechnology include food and environmental safety, GMO only for MNC, social issues (GMO is unnatural) and unintended consequences (yield drop, less mineral, loss resistance, etc.).
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