Vietnam PM supports GMOs

February 06, 2015 | 13:11
The Vietnamese government is encouraging the development and application of biotechnology in agriculture, according to vneconomy newswire.


illustration photo

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, on behalf of the prime minister, recently replied in a written document to a question by National Assembly delegate Pham Tat Thang from the southern province of Vinh Long regarding the public’s concern over the large amount of genetically modified corn and soybeans that Vietnam imports to use in animal feed.

Specifically, the Vietnamese government has tasked three ministries, namely the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment with the management of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and products made from them.

The three ministries have been assigned to increase their research and development capacities in the field to create their own breeds that better meet the demand of the domestic market in order to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign products and technology. The initiative further entails the training of scientists to evaluate and monitor the biosafety of GMOs.

The country is going to continue developing and applying biotechnology in the agriculture sector and rural development. By 2020 the government is planning to raise the cultivation area of the crops created by biotechnology to higher than 70 per cent, of which the cultivation area of GMOs, mostly cotton, corn and soybeans, would be between 30 and 50 per cent.

The state has further views to increase cooperation with countries with more experience in biotechnology, to build a mechanism to supervise GMOs as well as to increase public education on GMOs.

The PM has approved the Master Plan on the Development and Application of Biotechnology in Vietnam until 2020 and the Plan on the Development and Application of Biotechnology in Agriculture and Rural Development until 2020.

He has also issued the national action plan on biodiversity and the plan to raise the biosafety management capacity for GMOs and products made from GMOs to comply with the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).

Vietnam has licensed four corn strains as safe to be processed into foodstuff and animal feed, issued biosafety certificates to three and is evaluating 11 corn and soy strains.

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By By Ha Duy

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