Vietnam aims to raise public awareness of GMOs

September 26, 2014 | 11:00
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Academy of Journalism and Communication today hosted a half-day workshop in Hanoi titled “The Importance and Impact of Communications in the future adoption of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops in Vietnam”.

The workshop, with the participation of representatives of governmental agencies, research institutes, enterprises and media, sought ways to raise public awareness of the benefits of GM crops through educational and responsible public communication jointly carried out by media, regulators and scientists in this implementation.

GMOs are currently grown by 18 million farmers worldwide. The cultivation area of GMOs has increased 100-fold in the past 17 years, from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to over 175 million hectares in 2013.

Vietnam has considered the use of GMOs an important part of its national agricultural biotechnology programme. According to the government’s “plan on the development and application of biotechnology in agriculture and rural development until 2020”, Vietnam targets to start cultivating some GM crops by 2015 and to raise the cultivation area of GM crops to 30-50 per cent of the total by 2020.

The MARD’s recent issuance of a safety licence to animal feed made from GM crops and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s recent first-ever issuance of an environmental safety licence to some plant breeds are considered important steps in the development of a legal framework for GM crops in Vietnam and in the implementation of the country’s plan on using GM crops.

By By Hoang Anh

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