14 October 2015

Cameroon: Researchers Cautioned On GMO Testing, Use

The third Scientific Open Day held at the Yaounde Conference Centre yesterday.

The position of Cameroon on Genetically-modified Organisms, GMO, is clear. Government has put in place a law that governs GMO testing and use. It is against this premise that the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, Madeleine Tchuinte, recommended caution and respect of ethics in the testing and use of such organisms for animal production, food cultivation, amongst others. The Minister gave the warning in Yaounde yesterday, October 13, 2015, at the third Scientific Open Day with focus on promoting research.

Reseachers were unanimous that they do not work for fame. The livelihoods of people are thus primordial for development-focused research. "In as much as we want to produce more, we also want to make sure that products given out to end users are health worthy," said Sama Anne Eyango, researcher and Head of the Centre for Scientific Research and Innovation for the South West Region.

Making reference to the theme of the day; "Ethics, Research and Sustainable Development," Minister Tchuinte stressed the need by researchers to keep the environment safe. "The journey to our common future of sustainable development with humane face will only be achievable when researchers stop using products that pollute water. The environment was saturated with a majority of the population living in poverty with no electricity, water and food; reason to the turn tides," explained Madeleine Tchuinte. She said it was possible if people economised, shared resources equitably and used technology wisely so as not to harm humanity and the environment.

The inaugural lecture by researcher emeritus, the Director of the Institute of Medical Research and Studies on Medicinal Plants, IMPM, Prof. Jean Louis Essame Oyono. He stressed the need for researchers to respect norms on Genetically-modified Organisms and to keep the environment safe so as to mitigate the effects of climate change. Two batches of researchers were also promoted to senior researchers sequel to decisions of a committee that sat on December 22, 2014 and September 28, 2015.

The Minister reminded researchers that their files for harmonizing retirement ages were being studied. Also, the construction of the Institute for the Promotion of Science, Creativity, Innovation and Technology, IPSCIT will soon go underway. The Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation is recruiting 200 researchers this year and 300 others in 2016.

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