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Discussion on National Agenda on Biosecurity begins

Written by: Staff
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Bangalore, Nov 23 (UNI) A two-day discussion on setting up a National Agenda towards Biosecurity began here with renowned Scientist and former Indian Satellite Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr K Kasturirangan giving call for an integrated approach to ensure Biosecurity.

Speaking at the inauguratton of the meeting, organised jointly by National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) and M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, he said that Biosecurity was a strategic and integrated approach that encompasses the policy and regulatory framework to analyse and manage risks in the sectors like food safety, animal and plant life as well as health, including associated environmental risk, he said.

"Currently, India has no effective system for detecting, reporting and effectively mitigating outbreaks of new diseases or pests in crop plants and animals. It urgently needs a national biosecurity system to strengthen its capability to prevent pandemics. Our national preparedness and capability in the area of biosecurity is presently an issue of widespread debate following the detection of the HSN1 strain of avian influenza virus in many parts of the country, he said." Dr Kasturirangan said that for India agricultural biosecurity was of even greater significance since it relates to the livelihood security and major percentage of the population, food, health and trade security of the nation.

He said, "All existing acts related to biosecurity must be identified and reviewed and a national biosecurity policy must be created. Biosecurity should become objective of not only the government organisations or educational institutions, but there should be an integrated approach by both Centre and State governments and orther organisations.

Dr P K Shetty Professor of NIAS, in his address, said that Agro terrorism has been existing since World War II and it was used to create fear and to distract a country's progress. It was prevalent in Canada, France, Iraq, Japan and USA. Former University of Agriculture Sciences, Dharawad, Vice Chancellor Dr M Mahadevappa, in his keynote address called for creation of an independent cell for Biosecurity. There was need for cooperative effort by all the agencies to ensure biosecurity.

Karnataka Governor T N Chaturvedi, in his inaugural address, said that the subject directly touches upon national security.

Renowned Agriculture Scientists and Experts participating would discuss on Biosecurity in Food and Agriculture, Human Health, Biosecurity in National Context and preparedness.

Renowned Agriculture Scientist M S Swaminathan would be participating in the meeting which would come out with recommendations for ensuring biohappiness in the country.

UNI

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