On Thursday, November 15 Dr Salvatore Arpaia, AMIGA project coordinator from ENEA, held a short course entitled: “Environmental impact of GM plants and non-target organisms” at the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA). INTA is the AMIGA partner dealing with the analysis and the current strategy in monitoring the Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA). The course held by Dr Arpaia is just the beginning of a longer stay in Argentina, where the AMIGA coordinator together with Dr Geoff Squire from the James Hutton Institute (JHI), will be the guest experts to lead two other seminars. The meetings deal with the activities carried on within the AMIGA project and will focus on two different aspects, namely:“Genetically modified plants and non-target organisms: analysing the functioning of the agro-ecosystems”, (S. Arpaia) “Estimating long term effects of GM crops”, (G. Squire) The same topics will be presented and discussed on the 18th at the University of Buenos Aires. On Wednesday, November 21 Dr Arpaia and Dr Squire will be guest speaker in a major event on biosafety within the RedBio Congress in Mar del Plata, Argentina. This year the focus will be “Biotechnology and Society: dialogues for sustainable development”. The symposium will offer the chance to the consortium to present its activities in the area of biosafety of Genetically Modified Plants (GMPs), carried out since the project began in 2011. Dr Arpaia will focus on the case of insect pollinators, related to the ecological functioning of agro-ecosystem components with genetically modified crops. Dr Geoff Squire, leader of the activities on long-term effects, will give his contribution presenting the activities related to the biosafety of GMPs. The VIII Meeting of Biotechnology REDBIO 2013 for Latin America and the Caribbean is an important platform that gathers researchers, scientists and experts in the industry sector every year to discuss about biotechnology, which has a more and more significant role to play. In particular, in the field of agro biotechnology there are great challenges to be met: among them, the increase in the efficiency of our food production and the possibility to obtain crops with less water requirements or that can flourish with low-quality water.
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