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August 30, 2000


International Society for Plant Pathology Endorses Ag


Executive Committee of the International Society for Plant Pathology
Supports Biotechnology

We, the Executive Committee of the International Society for Plant
Pathology, meeting in Beijing, China, August 25-29 2000, believe and
support the application of modern biotechnology as a tool to enhance
agricultural productivity; to feed and improve the lives of the
fast-growing world population and to address environmental degradation,
hunger, and poverty. We also strongly advocate using sound science as the
basis for regulatory and political decisions pertaining to biotechnology.
We promote the careful, unbiased and science-based evaluation of
technologies and products of modern biotechnology.

Modern biotechnology has tremendous potential and offers remarkable
innovations to support efforts aimed at attaining food security. In
particular, losses in quantity and quality of food caused by plant
pathogens are known to be significant. Developing countries in general
are expected to benefit more than developed countries from biotechnology
in the areas of food and agriculture, health and medicine, environmental
protection and trade and industry.

Products of modern biotechnology promise to reduce farmers' high input
costs, increase their yields while helping conserve the ecosystem and
enable crops to grow under normally unfavorable conditions. Biotechnology
products can even provide greater benefits to consumers, who are the
ultimate beneficiaries of technological innovations. For instance, modern
biotechnology can be used as a tool to attain greater nutritional security
through enhanced products qualities such as higher vitamin content, better
protein quality and decreased post-harvest losses. Modern biotechnology
can also produce healthier oils and develop vaccines to fight dreadful
diseases like cholera and malaria.

While we recognize the importance of modern research, we must emphasize
the new technology must be openly available (shared) as much as possible.
We also recognize that no technology is without risk. However, we have
great confidence in the safety of biotechnology conducted under
appropriate protocols and in the products which undergo proper regulatory
reviews before they are approved by governments for general use.

We therefore advocate and promote the safe and responsible applications of
modern biotechnology in science and technology, agriculture and food,
health and medicine, environment and trade and industry. Considering the
tremendous potential of this technology, we urge policymakers to base
their decisions on sound scientific evidence.

The Executive Committee of the International Society for Plant Pathology

______________ _______________ _____________
President Vice-President Vice-President
Peter Scott Richard Falloon Anupam Varma

_______________ _______________
Secretary-General Treasurer
Charles Delp Chuji Hiruki