Heading south

A major conference in Egypt emphasizes the need to involve developing nations in biotechnology developments

Pat Hagan(phagan@btinternet.com)
Mar 24, 2002

LONDON — For some in the developing world, the debate over biotechnology and its potential applications has for too long been monopolized by the US and the other industrialized nations. In particular, many in the poorer nations of the south feel they should have more say over the direction of any future biotechnology developments that may boost food production and curb disease. To this end, a conference in Cairo 16–20 March 2002 allowed biotech experts from north and south to exchange views and inform decision makers. Attracting many eminent speakers, the conference attempted to cover all the issues surrounding biotech developments, from scientific progress and economic issues to the ethics and regulation of this work. Most of the presentations centered on food and agriculture, or human health.

According to Egypt's deputy Prime Minister Professor Youssuf Wally, there's a very real danger that the needs of poorer nations in the world...

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