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Science Speaks - Blog by ISAAA

Dr. Mahaletchumy Arujanan: ISAAA is Ready

By Dr. Mahaletchumy Arujanan
April 22, 2020

A Message from ISAAA's Global Coordinator, Dr. Mahaletchumy Arujanan

It is the beginning of a new era. Post-COVID-19 will set new norms in all areas globally. From the economy, business, agriculture, research and development, leisure and travel, medical care, consumer behavior, supply chains in all industries to many more – we need to weather extreme disruptive changes in ways we never thought before.

In agriculture, the impact of COVID-19 in our food system is being experienced globally. Its impact will be felt beyond food systems, food security and agriculture livelihood as today’s agriculture sector is not just about food production. Renewable energy, high-value industrial biocompounds, and even drugs are products of farms in the era of modern agriculture.

Emerging technologies such as gene editing, synthetic biology, and gene drive are susceptible to public scrutiny and mistrust. We need to step up before propaganda halts their progress that will cost the loss of opportunities to farmers, small-scale companies, and consumers. These technologies offer excellent solutions to consumers who seek specialty products such as allergen-free foods including peanut and wheat; and foods enriched with antioxidants to prevent critical illness like cancer. What will benefit humanity enormously are foods for the poorest global population – foods enriched with minerals and zinc that will reduce birth defects and other preventable diseases. ISAAA is ready to respond to these challenges and to ensure beneficial technologies reach those who need them the most.

This pandemic did not only bring us unique challenges, but I trust some unique opportunities and cutting-edge and innovative technologies are on the horizon. Let us hold tight and weather the crisis with science-based innovation.

ISAAA with our broad global perspectives; deep understanding of local and regional politics, culture and history of the adoption of modern agriculture; and strong partnership with national and international players is determined to be a reliable source of information and facilitator of knowledge transfer and adoption of technology and innovation. With our strong international network, we pledge to be a valuable partner to anyone who shares common goals to ensure modern biotechnology and biosciences are leveraged to serve humanity. At ISAAA, trust and transparency are what we hold dear. My team and I are working diligently to leapfrog and respond to the crisis in ways that will benefit all stakeholders.

On behalf of ISAAA, I wish everyone health and for the crisis to end with no further damage. Stay tuned on ISAAA’s developments through our website, blog, and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).

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