Biotech Crops Bringing Benefits to Health and the Environment - Private Sector Dialogue

Canberra, Australia, 21 January 2007
  • Issued by the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue for Agricultural Biotechnology
A unique mix of small farmers, corporate farmers, biotechnologists and policy makers from around the Asia Pacific region met on Friday to share information on the potential for biotechnology to address some important challenges facing agriculture.
The Private Sector Day, that preceded the sixth meeting of the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology, offered key stakeholders an insight into how biotechnology can help farmers deal with impacts of climate change and increase yields with fewer pesticides.
The gains from biotech crops were demonstrated by small farmers in Asia through to large corporate farmers in Australia and North America. This is why 10 million of the worlds' farmers now choose to grow over 100 million hectares of biotech crops. More than half the worlds' population now live in countries growing biotech crops.
One of the speakers at the dialogue, the General Manager for Biotechnology at Croplife Australia, Mr. Nicholas Woods, said the benefits of biotech crops are of increasing interest in the Asia-Pacific region.
"The expanded use of safe agricultural biotechnology products is helping to enhance human health, improve environmental safety and feed a growing global population," Mr. Woods said.
"For example, 10 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions have been eliminated because farmers using biotech crops do not have to till their land or use pesticide as much as in conventional farming."
The Private Sector Day was the first day of the sixth meeting of the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology (Policy Dialogue).
The HLPDAB is being held over three days in association with the APEC Senior Officials related meetings in Canberra between January 15-26.