A VPDF-sponsored international workshop titled “GMO and Food Sovereignty, Security” was held in Hanoi on June 2nd, attended by Vietnamese scientists and government officials, and foreign researchers, diplomats and NGOs’ representatives.
VPDF President Mme Nguyễn Thị Bình opened the event.
Presentations during the workshop included:
- “GMO Research and Development for Food Security and Sustainable Development”, by Mr. Lê Huy Hàm, Director, Agricultural Genetics Institute, Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences;
- “GMO, Environment and Sustainable Development”, by Mr. Phạm Văn Toản, former Director, Office for Biotechnology Program, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;
- “Vietnam’s Policy on Biotechnology and Biosafety”, by Ms. Hoàng Thị Thanh Nhàn, Deputy Director, Department of Biodiversity Conservation, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment;
- Experience from Brazil, by H.E.Mr. João de Mendonca Lima Neto, Ambassador of Brazil in Hanoi;
- “GM Foods and Risks to Human Health”, by Mr. Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Technology, USA;
- “GMO and Consumers’ Rights”, by Mr. Nguyễn Mạnh Đôn, Head, Commission on Science, Technology and Environment, Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations;
- “Biotechnology and Food Sovereignty”, by Mr. Nguyễn Văn Thanh, Vice-President of the VPDF;
- “GMO and Food Sovereignty – The Case of Iraq”, by Mr. Phạm Văn Chương, Vice-President of the VPDF.
Other GMO-related issues, notably socio-economic impacts, were also covered in the ensuing discussions.
Speakers analyzed both the potential benefits and risks of GM crops, and underlined the need for more intensive researches now that Vietnam was still at an initial, experimental stage. Many recommended a gradual and cautious approach, with proper attention paid to health safety, environmental friendliness and farmers’ interests, and an independent evaluation based on Vietnam’s own conditions and needs, and also world market trends./.