Biotechnology and Its Role for a Sustainable Agriculture

by Hera, Cristian and Popescu, Ana
Published in Romanian Journal of Economic Forecasting
, 2011, volume 14 issue 2, 55-63

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Developing an efficient sustainable agriculture in the current context of the global major threats (climate change, soil degradation and erosion, water scarcity, biodiversity reducing), coupled with a continual population increasing, represents an imperative for conceiving a strategy that should integrate conventional and biotechnological approaches, aiming to optimize productivity and contribute to food, feed, fiber and fuel security.
The successful developing and implementation of this strategy depend largely on establishing regional cooperation and a network that addresses to similar agricultural needs, priorities and practices, science based on regulations that should be able to protect public health and environment and to stimulate economic development, regional and global trade, modern agricultural practices, advanced food and feed production industry.
The germs of such a regional cooperation and networking are developed by the Black Sea Biotechnology Association (BSBA), established in June 2004, as a public nonprofit organization that has proved to be a very promising example of cooperative achievements. This example deserves to be followed and extended on a large scale inside all Europe and even outside the continental limits. Very valuable information has been accumulated during fourteen years of genetic modified organisms (GMOs) cultivation (since 1996), continuously spreading in a number of 25 countries on different continents, under the dedicated management of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Application (ISAAA), led by remarkable specialist dr. Clive James. The global impact of GMOs cultivation consists in higher level of productivity and economic benefits, as well as a considerable reduction of pesticide use, a decreasing of CO2 emission and soil, water and biodiversity preservation.
The up-to-date evaluation of GMOs cultivation and use has not registered any negative effect on the human and animal health, the biodiversity, the consequences of the gene-flood to the conventional crops, the environmental resources.
There are some strong reasons to join our efforts for promoting GMOs adoption in agricultural systems, without any further delay and to improve public perception of biotechnology achievements.

Keywords: genetically modified organisms, potential risks for human and animal health, food security
JEL Classification: Q18