Biosafety Important For Barbados & Region

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Training will play a critical role for Barbados and countries within the region in managing issues relating to biosafety.

This point was raised by Senior Agricultural Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, and Water Resource Management, Michael James, as he addressed a four-day workshop on Detection Methods for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in the Food Chain, at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, recently.

Mr. James pointed out that modern technology had the ability to increase food production, reduce diseases and aid sustainable development.

However, he warned there was also a need to be vigilant and to guard against the likely negative effects living modified organisms posed to human health and biodiversity.

Noting that Barbados had already completed the Country Biosafety Framework through a project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Senior Agricultural Officer said the need for further training resulted in the just-concluded workshop, in which Barbados was one of 12 countries from the region participating.

??????In the final analysis, the region will only become successful in the management of biosafety if you the participants take full advantage of the training offered. This will ensure that your country will have the ability to improve the diagnostic capabilities to detect GMOs in food and feed,??? he said.

Mr. James told those present that it was only through such measures that the Caribbean would be able to enjoy the benefits that biodiversity offered for sustainable livelihoods, safe, nutritious foods, and for assisting in mitigating the effects of climate change and inadequate food production.

The areas of biosafety policy and legislation are to be tackled in 2016 under a regional project approved by the GEF to facilitate the implementation of the National Biosafety Framework in the various CARICOM countries.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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