The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the US National Academies of Sciences (NAS) convened an international conference focusing on biotechnology and its potential impact on agriculture in developing countries. The conference aimed to stimulate a wide-ranging debate among over 400 participants from diverse backgrounds (including policy-makers, scientists, non-governmental organisations, and media) on potential benefits and risks of biotechnology.

Discussions were science-based and were intended to help to guide the strategies of CGIAR's international network of agricultural research centers as they seek to contribute to food security and poverty eradication in developing countries.

The conference proceedings are extensive (235 pages), and cover a broad range of topics. The first section gives an overview of the proceedings and provides a very useful summary of the status of agricultural biotechnology in both developing and industrial countries, the global challenges that lie ahead, the risks and benefits of modern biotechnology and the key players involved in the debate. Subsequent sections give background information and opinion on a wide range of issues relating to agricultural biotechnology.


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