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Sitemap 08 the future of Food & Biotech
This advisory report is formulated by the Committee on the Safety Assessment of Novel Foods of the Health Council of the Netherlands. It has been reviewed by the Standing Committee on Food and the Standing Committee on Health and Environment of the Health Council. This advisory report is also presented to the Minister of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries.
"> The pace of development of new food products and ingredients is increasing at an unprecedented speed and the R&D to efficiently address all needs of the modern consumer regarding taste, health, safety and convenience is becoming increasingly complex. "> Research breakthroughs and technological developments in life sciences raise important ethical and social considerations, in particular in connection with agriculture and food related issues. Ethical and social considerations have influenced legislative/decision making processes and the public understanding of new scientific and technological developments, e.g. in the case of genetic engineering applied to the agro-food sector."> The mission of the NIST Biotechnology program is to advance the commercialization of biotechnology by developing the scientific/engineering technical base, reliable measurements, standards, data and models to enable U.S. industry to quickly and economically produce biochemical products with appropriate quality control. "> A comprehensive review of the scientific literature supports the conclusion that overall the currently commercialized biotechnology-derived soybean, corn, and cotton crops yield environmental benefits. Furthermore, a critical analysis of the literature supports the idea that biotechnology-derived soybean, corn, and cotton pose no environmental concerns unique to or different from those historically associated with conventionally developed crop varieties. "> "You're never going to make a completely allergy-free soybean plant because you're not going to be able to eliminate all the proteins in it," said Helm. Rather, "we're looking to make a safer product." Many soy-sensitive consumers are also allergic to other foods, particularly those among the big eight. Singling out soy's major allergen could shorten the list of products they need to avoid.

"> A majority of Europeans want to see a change in the way the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) supports the EU farmers. According to the latest Eurobarometer opinion poll, more than 60% of EU citizens see a shift of farm subsidies from production to directly supporting farmers and the rural areas as "a very good" or "fairly good" thing.

"> Life sciences and biotechnology have entered a stage of exponential growth, opening up a vast potential to move economies in Europe and globally towards more sustainable development and improved quality of life. They are therefore of strategic importance in Europe's quest to become a leading knowledge-based economy. Europe cannot afford to miss the opportunity that these new sciences and technologies offer."> The quality of the food we eat has become one the biggest concerns for Europe's citizens. This article explains the role of the European Union (EU) in maintaining the highest standards of food safety and quality. The EU agricultural policy encourages farmers to produce a large choice of quality foodstuff, including organic production. European-wide legislation serves to keep food free of harmful substances and to keep consumers well informed though the labels on the food. The EU Food and Veterinary Office monitors whether safety rules are followed. Also the EU-activities related to new technology and to the global trade rules have an impact on our daily food. "> The policy document on Food Production and Rural Areas (Voedsel en Groen) focuses on the change in thinking about the agricultural sector. It is not concerned solely with primary agriculture, but with the whole chain from primary sector to consumer. This agrifood complex is characterised by socially responsible business practice, a high level of knowledge and innovative strength and is thus a world market leader. A demand-centred approach is essential since the agrifood complex is driven by the wishes of citizens and consumers. "> Genetic modification is an impressive new technology, but its application in practice depends on public support. This is only now being recognised. The government and political parties must learn to act according to this principle. The most important thing is to restore citizensí confidence in their government, because it is the government that lays down the preconditions for research and enterprise."> These questions and answers have been prepared by WHO in response to questions and concerns by a number of WHO Member State Governments with regard to the nature and safety of genetically modified food. ">
Safety assessment of novel foods
Integrating Genomics Technologies into Food Research
Ethical, legal and socio-economic aspects of ...
2003 Biotechnology Division Flyer
Comparative Environmental Impacts
Researchers Develop Hypoallergenic Soybeans
What do Europe's citizens think about the common agricultural policy?
Towards a strategic vision of life sciences and biotechnology
Healthy food for Europe's citizens
An organic market to conquer
Genes on the Menu
20 Questions on Genetically Modified (GM) Foods
Biotech, food for discussion

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