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The 20th Meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice started on Monday and will take place through Friday April 29th. One of the most important issues dealt with at the event, which represents a special challenge for social movements and organizations, is synthetic biology.
This is a challenging issue due to its technical specificity, but also because the projects that are being promoted have potential impacts on the environment, human life and the traditions and habits of communities living in the territories at global level.
This was warned by environmental federation Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) from Montreal. For this reason, Real World Radio interviewed on Thursday activist Dana Perls of Friends of the Earth US and member of the FoEI delegation present at the official negotiations in Montreal.
Friends of the Earth US´ official website states that “synthetic biology is an extreme form of genetic engineering, an emerging technology that is developing rapidly and entering the marketplace. Like traditional GMOs, the products of synthetic biology are virtually unregulated, have not been assessed adequately for impacts on our health or environment, and are not required to be labeled”. “Instead of swapping genes from one species to another (as in traditional genetic engineering), a new basket of engineering techniques, including computer generated DNA, directed evolution, site-specific mutagenesis and more, all cluster around an approach called synthetic biology”, it add.
According to Friends of the Earth US, synthetic biology could have serious impacts on the health of the people and ecosystems, on the biological diversity of the planet and for communities facing “the “corporations’ plans to deploy new technologies and novel organisms for profit”.
To know more about these issues, we interviewed Dana Perls.
For more information see: http://www.foe.org/projects/food-and-technology/synthetic-biology
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