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Health Hiccup We Should Stop Alien Jabs

  • Khushi Khan
  • Apr, 2019
  • 593
  • Science


It is said the 21st Century is the ‘century of biotechnology’. In the view of that Pakistan first realised the importance ‎of biotechnology in 1959 in Pakistan’s first commission on science and technology when they set up research ‎institutes and organisations to cope up with the increasing demands of development in science and to meet the ‎challenges of the modern world. The scope of biotechnology in Pakistan is bright as there are many educational ‎institutions which are offering biotechnology as a course and providing research opportunities for students.‎

Bio-technology is a research-oriented science, a combination of biology and technology. It covers ‎a wide variety of subjects like genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, virology, ‎chemistry and engineering and is also concerned with many other subjects like health and ‎medicine, agriculture and animal husbandry, cropping system and crop management, ecology, cell ‎biology, soil science and soil conservation, bio-statistics, plant physiology, seed technology, etc. ‎Bio-technology is the use of living things, especially cells and bacteria in industrial process. There ‎is a great scope in this field as the demand for biotechnologist is growing in Pakistan as well as ‎abroad.‎

Pakistan has been ranked seventh among the 26 countries growing biotech crops.‎

This fact was presented as part ‘Global Status of Commercialisation Biotech/GM Crops: 2016’ report at the ‎International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences of the Karachi University.‎

Out of the three million hectares that are used for agriculture in the country, Pakistan achieved a 97-percent ‎adoption of insect resistant biotech cotton, which roughly equates to around 2.9 million hectares. Having achieved ‎this milestone last year, the stakeholders are looking for an economic boost through biotech varieties of maize.‎

In addition to boosting the agricultural sector, biotech crops have had a huge impact on the economy as well. The ‎growth of these crops helped strengthen the economy by $398 million in 2015 and $4.3 billion from 2010 to 2015.‎

Factors hampering growth

However, the report underlined the following factors which hampered the growth of biotech crops:‎

‎1-dependence on old insect resistant technology

‎2-supply of low-quality insect resistant cotton varieties

‎3-increasing threat of pink bollworms, and bollworms in general, due to lack of timely insecticide application

‎4-absence of control measures leading to cotton leaf curl viruses due to white fly and leaf hoppers

The report did highlight the positive trend of biotech crops in Pakistan though, saying, ‘Despite the issues, insect ‎resistant cotton has proliferated in cotton growing provinces of the Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and ‎Baluchistan and occupied almost the entire cotton crop hectarage in Pakistan.’‎

The Federal Ministry of Climate Change’s National Bio-safety Community has approved the cultivation of insect ‎resistant maize varieties introduced by Monsanto Pakistan. However, these varieties are subject to approval from ‎the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Committee.‎

The committee has approved 32 out of 119 single biotech varieties of cotton. 2016 proved to be quite substantial ‎for the biotech crops as the Nobel Laureates showed their support for biotechnology-dependent crops and ‘golden ‎rice’ – the controversial variety of rice.‎

Further, there is a huge list of institutions which are providing platform to emerging and senior biotechnologists to ‎use their research skills in diverse areas of biotechnology. ‎

There is a scope for biotechnologists in food and pharmaceutical industries in Pakistan. Food related industries hire ‎biotechnologists for food analysis and testing and for quality check. Medicine industry hire for quantitative and ‎qualitative analysis of drugs, to test potential of various lead compounds and to analyse the drug pharmacokinetics ‎and pharmacodynamics. Biotechnologists are being hired in hospitals in pathological labs. Biotech Pakistan Private ‎Limited in Karachi is a leading agent in Pakistan for the supply of medical and scientific equipment all over the ‎country. Santa Cruz Biotechnology is another one such international distributors whose branch is in Lahore, giving a ‎great opportunity for biotechnologists for job with business point of view.‎

Currently, Pakistan’s exports are highly dependent on textile sector. But this area has certain limits because at ‎present 130 countries are producing textiles and clothing but only 30 countries are the buyers....

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