EghtesadOnline: Biotechnology is an indispensable tool to ensure food security in Iran, the head of Iranian Genetics Society said.
According to Mahmoud Tavallaee, traditional agriculture only meets 35-45% of food demand in Iran.
“Fifty-five percent of Iran’s caloric needs are met by imported products, over 90% of which are transgenic,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Food security indicators and measures are derived from country-level household income and expenditure surveys to estimate per capita caloric availability. In general, the objective of these indexes is to capture some or all of the main components of food security in terms of food availability, access and utilization or adequacy, Financial Tribune reported.
“The 20-Year Vision Plan (2005-25) stipulates reaching a food production level of 300 million tons per year from the current 90 million tons,” Tavallaee added.
According to Rasoul Dinarvand, the head of Food and Drug Administration, genetically modified crops are not grown anywhere in Iran and soybean (oil and meal) and corn oil are the only transgenic products imported into the country.
“Other transgenic crops are not allowed to be grown or imported to the country. Non-GM corn oil is among Iran’s imports … meaning people have a choice between GM and non-GM food,” the government’s news portal, Dolat.ir quoted him as saying.
Dinarvand noted that GM foods currently available on the international market and the transgenic soybean and corn oil available in Iran have passed international and local safety assessments.
“They are consumed by millions of people across the world and do not pose risks to human health,” he said.
According to World Health Organization, genetically modified organisms can be defined as plants, animals or microorganisms in which the DNA has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. The technology is often called “modern biotechnology” or “genetic engineering”.
Foods produced from or using GM organisms are often referred to as GM foods. No effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in countries where they have been approved.