Japanese Scientists Sign Petition Endorsing Agricultural Biotechnology
Contact: Dr.C.S. Prakash at firstname.lastname@example.org
As world leaders at the G-8 summit in Okinowa consider the issue of
biotechnology, leading Japanese scientists have joined the growing global
consensus of support for agriculture biotechology. Six Japanese professors
have joined more than 2,800 other scientists -- including three Nobel
Prize winners -- by signing a petition in support of agricultural biotechnology.
Other notable signers include, among others, Norman Borlaug, Nobel Peace Prize winner and father of the Green Revolution; James Watson, Nobel Prize winner and co-discoverer of DNA's construction; and Paul Boyer, winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in chemistry.
The petition, which can be seen via the internet at http://www.agbioworld.org, states that "biotechnology can address environmental degradation, hunger, and poverty in the developing world by providing improved agricultural productivity and greater nutritional security." Dr. C.S. Prakash, founder of AgBioWorld, added that "there is no scientific reason to believe that genetically-engineered foods are any less safe than the foods we've been eating for centuries. Consequently, we in the scientific community have felt a need to debunk many of the myths surrounding the technology."
These sentiments were recently echoed by the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Science Academy, the Mexican of Sciences and the Third World Academy of Sciences in a report entitled "Transgenic Plants And World Agriculture" (http://books.nap.edu/html/transgenic). The report concluded that genetic engineering "should be used to increase the production of main food staples, improve the efficiency of production, reduce the environmental impact of agriculture, and provide access to food for small-scale farmers."
Dr. Prakash applauded his Japanese colleagues and other Japanese scientists
who are "doing important research and are making great contributions to
agriculture, the environment and human health." He also expressed hope
that G-8 policy-makers "will not sacrifice this safe and promising technology."