Chaired the Meeting Regarding Genetically Modified Crops
Federal minister for national Food Security & Research Mr. Sikahndar Hayat Khan Bosan chaired the meeting regarding genetically modified crops in National Agriculture Research Center. This is indeed an occasion of great importance as the renowned scientists and worthy parliamentarians have gathered here to discuss the issue of food security; this issue is close to my heart as it relates to the food security of common man of the country. Food is a basic necessity of human being, and with the increase in the field of technology and awareness the concern for food security is also increasing.
Federal Minister said the food requirements for growing population across the world are adequately met through the adequate use of science & technology. Pakistan has to surmount challenges to attain food security and food production by human beings is constrained by various challenges which includes pests along with abiotic constrains. The federal minister said ironically the production & food is more than its requirement across the globe. But the unfortunate fact is 30-40% food is lost during production & post harvest.
2. Genetic manipulation of crops and animals through conventional techniques has been a major tool to increase food availability but it has already achieved its landmark of green revolution.
Federal minister told the participants that biotechnology though relatively new science is heavily relied upon and Pakistan fortunately has made huge investment in this field. The G.M crops capabilities are enhanced by introducing alien genes from plants, animals and microbes. There is certain controversy regarding the negative impact on human health through G.M food crops; but majority of scientists encourage the use of this technology.
Federal minister said this meeting is important because we have to reach at some conclusion on the production & use of G.M foods through commercialization of G.M crops and make ground for such an eventuality so the country may reap the benefits of this technology, without neglecting the potential hazards that may emerge.
Federal minister further said that if the rules regarding bio safety are followed in full spirit. The immeasurable benefits of this technology may be harnessed in fullest; I suggest that the national biotech policy may quickly be finalized for further progress in the matter.
The federal minister suggested for a constitution of a committee to deliberate upon the proposed policy & the committee would be comprised of two parliamentarians & two scientists with member PSD as member secretary to make recommendations on the commercialization of G.M food crops or otherwise. The Minister commended the members present at the meeting for taking up the vital issue of national food security.