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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Nation Food Security and Research on Sunday said that the proposed amendments in Pakistan’s National Biosafety Rules (2005) aimed to align with international standards and enhance regulation.

In a press statement, the spokesman of the ministry said that proposed amendments in regulations also aimed at adopting a dual approval approach for planting and processing respectively as enshrined in ‘Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety’ concerning GMO imports and focusing on cultivation and food, feed and processing (FFPs).

The other objectives of ongoing processes are to ensure the safe and beneficial integration of GMOs into the country’s agricultural landscape, besides fostering collaboration between stakeholders and authorities.

He said that scientific evidence supports the safety of GMOs, with reputable organizations endorsing their consumption, and rigorous testing before approving GMO crops ensures minimal harm to biodiversity and environmental sustainability.

He said Pakistan stands at a pivotal juncture regarding GMO integration into its agricultural landscape, adding that the amendments in Pakistan Biosafety Rules-2005 and Pakistan Biosafety Guidelines-2005 were initiated in August 2020.

All the relevant stakeholders were involved in this 04 years process, he said adding that the ministry is very well aware of its task to ensure the well-being of our people, animals, and environment.

Earlier the same ministry put a block of any work on GM Basmati rice in the late 1990s and recently on GM corn import in 2018, he remarked.

However, science is dynamic and evolutionary and now knowledge and information necessitate the change accordingly, he added.

Fostering informed dialogue, scientific scrutiny and regulatory diligence will shape a future where GMOs could bolster agricultural productivity while ensuring safety, environmental sustainability and compliance with international standards, he added.

The spokesperson said that the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) is organizing a series of workshops, seminars and forums that facilitate an open exchange of ideas.

These events, he said will serve as platforms for experts to share knowledge, address concerns and foster a better understanding of the implications of GMO adoption in the country.

By promoting informed discourse, we aim to enable informed decision-making, policy formulation, and public awareness, he added.

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