(The following is a statement issued by SEARICE following the discussions on new and emerging issues at the 11th Conference of Parties being held in Hyderabad, India.
“Mr. Chair, we support Philippines and other countries in declaring a moratorium on the release of products from synthetic biology to the environment, particularly because there are issues relating to review, assessment, or evaluation of these products, governance mechanisms and impact of these products, particularly on food production systems, from seed to plate.
“Chair, agriculture-based economies where most developing countries have, will be adversely affected by the release of synbio products. Business have released and intend to release these products in the environment, without proper consultation with small men and women farmers or food producers; and even without proper consultation with persons like all the delegates here who will inevitably consume these products, that were not properly assessed in terms of food safety and security. We continue to experience problems of labeling of GMOs, we doubt if synthetic biology products used as food will be labeled accordingly.
“Furthermore, synthetic biology products must be banned, for so long as its impact on small men and women farmers are not extensively reviewed.
“We also support the ban since proper regulatory, montioring, and control measures are not in place.”