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Bridging economy and biotechnology divide: path to be taken

Rahman, Mohammad Tariqur (2013) Bridging economy and biotechnology divide: path to be taken. In: National Conference on Industry-Academia Joint Initiatives in Biotechnology 2013, 5th-7th Dec. 2013, Faculty of Industrial Sciences & Technology, Equatorial Hotel, Cameron Highlands.

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Bridging the economy and “biotechnology divide” has been perceived to venture for biotech products that would alleviate food shortage thus contributing to the economic growth of developing countries. However, the following issues need due attention: (i) collaboration between developed and developing countries to progress biotech product development (ii) provision of ample funds and time for fundamental research for biotech product development, and (iii) preventing hasty and immediate profit-making at the expense of the safe development of essential biotech products. The bridging of the economic growth and “biotechnology divide” in developing countries is evident with the effort of their farmers who grow more biotech crops compared to their counterparts in industrialized countries (52% vs. 48% of global production in 2012), as well as the commercialization of biotech crops in countries such as Sudan, South Africa, Burkina Faso, and Egypt. However, bridging between developed and developing countries for biotech product development may face setbacks as countries, such as Poland, Germany, and Sweden, who have been growing transgenic crops have stopped to do so (ISAAA Brief 44, 2012). In terms of bridging to find ample evidence to adequately support the safety and beneficial aspects of biotech products, fundamental researchers, biotechnologists and industrialists need to be prudent, patient, and pragmatic. Using the examples of transgenic crops for higher productivity, and the potential of recombinant medical biotech products, this paper highlights the need for valid justification and in depth fundamental research to develop biotech products in bridging the economy and the biotechnology divide. For instance, the development of ‘transgenic food for higher productivity’ to solve the food scarcity could not be justified since one third of the world’s food is going in waste (UN report 2012). At the same time, a few in vivo toxicity assays followed by animal and human trial for only a couple of years may not suffice to find ample evidence to ensure the safety and benefit of transgenic crops.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Full Paper)
Additional Information: 5128/35410
Uncontrolled Keywords: biotechnology divide
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Science > Department of Biotechnology
Depositing User: Dr Mohammad Tariqur Rahman
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2014 09:12
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2014 02:01
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/35410

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