WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, September 11, 2008) - Today marks the fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The Biosafety Protocol is an international environmental treaty under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which establishes rules and procedures for the international trade in certain agricultural biotechnology products.
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has been involved in discussions since the time the Biosafety Protocol was negotiated. Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, executive vice president of food and agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement reaffirming BIO’s commitment to working with Biosafety Protocol Parties to ensure the safe transfer, handling and use of agricultural biotechnology products:
“Over the past five years, more than 140 countries have made significant gains in implementation of the Biosafety Protocol. The biotechnology industry has contributed to these efforts, through ongoing capacity-building efforts, improvements to the quality and quantity of information available on the Biosafety Clearing-House, and the development of guidance language for industry to use in implementation of the Biosafety Protocol’s shipping documentation requirements.
“BIO and its members remain supportive of the Biosafety Protocol. This support represents our industry’s unwavering commitment to environmental protection, food security and resource preservation while allowing for the global community to take advantage of the real benefits of agricultural biotechnology.
“Crops improved through biotechnology are increasing yields on current agricultural lands around the world. Higher-yielding crops can help feed more people and boost incomes for farmers. In addition, the use of biotech crops that resist pests and diseases, tolerate harsh growing conditions and reduce spoilage has also prevented the loss of many important crops. Crops improved by biotechnology are being embraced by farmers around the world.
“The theme selected for this fifth anniversary is ‘The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: Five years of global cooperation towards sustainable development’. BIO looks forward to continuing to support implementation of the Biosafety Protocol through focused, capacity-building at the national level. This is key to the effective operation of the Biosafety Protocol and to ensuring compliance by all Parties with their existing obligations.”
For more information on the fifth anniversary of the Protocol, visit: http://www.cbd.int/biosafety/anniversary.
Upcoming BIO Events
Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
Sept. 10-12, 2008
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Intellectual Property Council Committee Fall Conference and Meeting
October 20-22, 2008
BIO HR Conference 2008
October 26-28, 2008
San Diego, Calif.
BIO-LES Advanced Business Development Course
October 27-29, 2008
San Francisco, Calif.
BIO Investor Forum 2008
October 29-31, 2008
San Francisco, Calif.
Advanced Business Development Course
November 14-16, 2008
November 17-19, 2008
2009 BIO International Convention
May 18-21, 2009
BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.