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Genetic modification safety research online

A European communication network has organised a range of dissemination platforms for issues and implications surrounding the often contentious subject of genetically modified crops.
Genetic modification safety research online
Safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) seems to be an inexhaustible topic for debate. According to many experts however, the discussions rage on without taking into account much of the GMO bio-safety research. To provide the necessary information for unbiased and balanced examination of GMO use, the ′Biosafety research communication network′ (Biosafenet) project has collected relevant research results so all parties can be more informed.

Several approaches were taken in order to fulfil this ambitious goal including extracting information from EU research programmes and appropriate existing European bio-safety networks. Also incorporated into the equation were experts from New Member States and Associated Candidate Countries.

Tools from the International Society for Bio-safety Research, particularly active in GMO issues, were used to enhance the role of European experts enlisted by Biosafenet. To make life easier for participants in the GMO bio-safety issue, project scientists also summarised and disseminated research results. Furthermore, the National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF) organised a series of seminars covering topics including ‘Green biotechnology and biosafety’ and ‘Political context and regulation’.

Perhaps the most important progress in the area of dissemination is the establishment of the Biosafenet website. This constantly updated platform reports on a broad range of issues in public debate and articles and interviews deliver the very latest results and implications of bio-safety research. The site also houses the newly overhauled open access database with a pull-down menu of the major crops for easy retrieval of all relevant projects.

Access to research on GMO safety and progress will aid regulatory authorities and the public to reach informed decisions about the future of genetic modification in agriculture and environmental issues. Transparency at the research level will no doubt increase visibility and acceptance.

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