ISLAMABAD - Being parliamentarians we will provide every support at Government level for legislation of Biosafety Guidelines. This was stated by Malik Shakir Bashir Awan, MNA & Chairman of National Assembly Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research while chairing a “Consultative Workshop on the Reformulation of Biosafety Guidelines” on Friday at here Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) HQs, Islamabad.

Seerat Asghar, Federal Secretary of Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) said there are many threats and weaknesses at various levels. We are working in isolation and not interacting that are the main reasons of the issue. If there is any conflict, bodies are available, to resolve it. Lot of literature comes up at national and international and regional levels. We must today decide that how to resolve the issue in shortest time.

Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, Chairman PARC in his welcome address highlighted the challenges of biosafety. He suggested separating regulators and producers. He said infrastructure is available and scientists share equipment. Experts give inputs to clear the issue on priority basis.

Dr. Muhammad Khurshid, DG Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) gave a detail presentation on the status of National Biosafety Centre, Biosafety Guidelines and Rules 2005. He briefed that Pakistan Biosafety Act, National Safety Policy and Action Plan are being drafted.

Dr. Shahid Masood, Member (Plant Sciences) PARC also gave an overview of agricultural biotechnology in Pakistan. He briefed historical perspective, research and achievements in major biotech research centres in Pakistan such as NIBGE, CEMB, NIGAB, FCCU and investment in agri. biotech during the last ten years which is amounting to Rs.5119.4 million for 83 projects.

Dr. Kausar A. Malik, HEC-Distinguished National Professor (Biotechnology), Prof. Dr. Anwar Nasim, President PAS, Dr. Khalid Abullah, Prof. Dr. Tayyab Hussain CEMB, senior scientists of PARC, CABB-UAF, PABIC-Lahore, USDA, NIBGE, DPP, NBC/Pak-EPA, FCCU and other stakeholders highlighted the issues being faced at different levels, proposed some suggestions, shared knowledge and experience for finalisation of the recommendations for reformulation of biosafety guidelines.