20 states to attend Oman forum on bio-safety

MUSCAT — Experts from some 20 countries will gather here today for a three-day international conference on bio-safety hosted by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities, Environment and Water Resources. It will be officially inaugurated by Minister of Heritage and Culture Sayyid Haitham bin Tareq Al Said.

By From Our Correspondent

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Published: Mon 21 Feb 2005, 9:48 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:33 PM

The event, the first of its kind to be held in the Sultanate, will discuss a total of 41 working papers on the latest scientific developments in the field, Said bin Darwish Al Alawi, Director-General of Health Control at the ministry, said.

He added the conference reinforced Oman’s concern with food safety in general and genetically modified foods in particular in the light of the restriction and commitments imposed by the Cartagna protocol on bio-safety, signed by more than 80 countries including the Sultanate.

The protocol calls for transparency in trade of food and agricultural crops produced using biotechnology. The protocol obliges exporters to provide adequate information about these food products before exporting them to any country.

The importing country may accept or reject these products according to the protocol. Specialists from the agriculture and fisheries, commerce and industry, health and defence ministries, the Sultan Qaboos University, the State Council and Majlis Ash’shura, Royal Oman Police and Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry will participate in the conference.

Alawi said the conference would discuss legislative systems of bio-safety, risk assessment, bio-safety and the environment, experiences of countries in establishing national bio-safety frameworks, public awareness with the importance of bio-safety and how to build national capabilities in the field. An environmental exhibition will be held on the sidelines of the event.

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