A one-day workshop on biotechnology and diagnostics of genetically modified products was held at TMU’s Faculty of Agriculture in cooperation with the National Bio-Safety Council on the 4th of December in the Auditorium of Faculty of Agriculture.
At the beginning of the workshop, which was attended by more than 120 experts and scholars, Dr. Mokhtar Jalali, the scientific secretary of the workshop, first thanked all the participants and then elaborated on the goals and plans of the workshop.
In a speech entitled "Is biotechnology a friend of bio-safety or an enemy of it?" Dr. Jalali gave a lengthy discussion about the vast applications of this technology in various fields, such as agriculture, medicine, environment, etc., and pointed out that the benefits of this technology must be enjoyed by human societies while its threats and possible dangers should be avoided by enforcing strict bio-safety regulations”.
In this workshop, Dr. Sirous Zeinali, the head of the Iranian Biotechnology Association, described the necessity of using new technologies for food security in the country. "The transgenic technology does not aim to produce more and higher quality products, it also is effective in the field of drug production”. He added: "Support for biotechnology in the country, whether from the government or from the private sector, is necessary, and we have made good progress in medical biotechnology".
Dr. Zeinali continued: "we were able to progress in medical biotechnology. But in the agricultural sector, we are beyond the schedule. Today, our livestock and poultry products are entirely import-dependent and are one of the largest importers of genetically modified organisms. Unfortunately, those who oppose the production of genetically modified products in Iran whatever their motives, lie about the transgenic products and thwart the development of this technology in the country”.
He concluded by saying that the country's food security is in danger as long as we are importing the transgenic products, adding: "There seems to be some mysterious agents who prevent the realization of our food-sufficiency dream."
After presenting the lectures, the experts participated in two separate forums and discussed the various aspects of the problem.