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Cuba will have a laboratory to monitor transgenic foods

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 17 (ACN) Cuba will soon have a laboratory specialized in transgenic foods at the National Institute of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology (INHEM), in the capital, informed PhD José Antonio Carrera, head of its Laboratories Department.

In statements to ACN, the specialist explained that the purpose of the facility is the surveillance of genetically modified organisms (GMO) developed in Cuba or imported, it will be the first in the country and will be a regional reference in the Americas, he stressed.

In this way, we will verify that the events inoculated in the products really correspond and that they are safe and innocuous for the consumption of the population, he said.

He added that the construction stage of the laboratory is currently being finalized and some equipment is already in place, while others will arrive soon through a project with the French Development Agency.

Many nations have already shown interest and are asking to carry out their research and controls here, as they do, for example, at the Center for Radiation Protection and Hygiene, which is in charge of radiological surveillance in the island, said Antonio Carrera.

He added that the building will have high technology and reliability, and must have the approval of the corresponding international organizations for its operation, as well as complying with all the established biosafety requirements.

With this in mind, he stressed that they have the advice of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), an entity of the BioCubaFarma Business Group, and plan to collaborate in the training of specialists in selected provincial and some municipal centers, which will benefit from these improvements.

INHEM's mission includes sanitary regulation and certification, to contribute to the development of hygiene, epidemiology, microbiology and nutrition in Cuba.

The institute is a member of the National Commission for the Use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Cuban agriculture, recently constituted in this capital and chaired by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.

Its members also include representatives of the Office of Environmental Regulation and Safety, the Ministries of Agriculture and Public Health, the National Bureau of Standardization and the CIGB.

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