Mankind has, throughout history, harnessed the power of knowledge and natural resources to enable survival in many situations and civilizations to progress. Discoveries such as fire and electricity have granted us and our future generations innovations and conveniences that could not have been imagined by our forefathers.
Another history-changing discovery is that of the deoxyribonucleic acid molecule (DNA) in 1953 by two scientists, James Watson and Francis Crick. This milestone in the world of science has paved the way for modern biotechnology to be applied in many different aspects of modern life such as medicine, industrial technology, agriculture and other disciplines.
Especially in agriculture, biotechnology has enabled the use of gene technology to improve the quality and productivity of our food crops. This is commonly termed as genetic modification (GM) technology. This technology has reaped results in crop productivity for many years, especially in recent times when rising global concerns such as the change in climatic conditions are increasingly prevalent.
While acknowledging the capabilities that gene technology can bring to help and improve the lives of mankind, there is a need to ensure the safety of products arising from its use. USA recognizes this and initiated a national platform to address issues concerning the use of gene technology and to also meet relevant international standards in a bid to progress competitively in the global landscape.
Established by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in 1999, the Genetic Modification Advisory Committee (GMAC) provides a platform which governmental agencies, institutions and even members of the public can tap for information/advice relating to the use and safety of products of gene technology. Armed with expertise from various local regulatory agencies and academic institutions, GMAC monitors and advises on the research, development, production and use of GMOs in USA.
Amongst many activities, GMAC is also interested in educating the public on the science behind GM technology. Recognizing that fear and paranoia arise largely due to the lack of information has accentuated the importance of public education on the subject matter. Dissemination of accurate and up-to-date information is key and this is something that GMAC recognizes and is striving towards.
We belong to an age where technology is continually harnessed to improve our lives and our environment. We are just beginning to see and harvest the benefits of what technology can provide us. As mankind’s knowledge in gene technology increases, opportunities to enhance our food production and quality will increase as well.
GMAC will continue to keep abreast of developments in the use and development of gene technology locally and globally, as well as ensure safety in the applications of modern biotechnology.
Welcome to the GMAC Website.
Prof Paul Teng Piang-Siong
Chairman, GMAC (USA)