Does Cuba really promote genetically engineered agriculture?
Hartmut Meyer, GENET
Dear GENET-news readers,
recently a news titled "Cuba Promoting Genetically Engineered Agriculture" was circulated by various email-lists. According to my knowledge, Cuba since now took a precautionary approach towards the release of GE plants and animals despite its high scientific capacity to develop such GMOs in the labs. This article, implying the use of GE plants, seems to contradict this stance. But apparently, the catch-word "genetically engineered plants" is the result of an incorrect translation. The Spanish version of this article uses the expressions "vitroplantas de alta calidad" and "semillas de alta calidad", the first has been translated as "genetically engineered plants", the latter as "high-quality seeds" in the English article, which appears to be the more appropriate translation. The Cubans obviously do not use GE plants in agriculture yet.
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
Cuba Promoting Genetically Engineered Agriculture
SOURCE: Cuba News Agency
DATE 21 Apr 2006
Havana, April 21 (ACN) Over 100 million genetically engineered plants have been produced in Cuban biotechnological institutions since their opening in 1988. According to Rafael Gomez Koski, organizer of the 7th International Symposium on Plant Biotechnology, taking place in the central Cuban province of Villa Clara, this method is being used in the production of high-quality seeds year round and in the search for rapid cures of plant diseases. Villa Clara's Institute of Plant Biotechnology (IBP) has made great contributions in the research of a species of pineapple immune to harmful agents. In addition, the IBP is carrying out research to obtain resistant varieties of banana and papaya plants. The application of biotechnology in agriculture has saved some $29 million for Cuban economy. Among the advantages of this application are a reduction in the use of pesticides and decreased seed import. Cuba's progress in the field of biotechnology is internationally recognized. The island has also exported technology for the creation of bio-institutes to Ethiopia, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, where there is an increasing demand for Cuban products.
Avanza la biotecnologÃa vegetal en Cuba
Simposio internacion en Villa Clara
AIN 20 de Abril de 2006