Asian Food Information Centre (AFIC)
The Asian Food Information Centre (AFIC) is a Singapore-registered 'not for profit organisation' founded in 1998. According to AFIC, 'Accurate information about food safety, nutrition and health needs to be communicated clearly to both opinion leaders and consumers. The Asian Food Information Centre was established to meet this need.' AFIC's role is thus 'to effectively communicate science-based information to the media and other key audiences in the Asia Pacific region.'
According to the very limited information available on its website, AFIC is funded by 'the food, beverage and agriculture industries'. This wording is similar to that used by the US-based International Food Information Council (IFIC) which also states that it is supported primarily by the 'food, beverage and agricultural industries.' AFIC, like IFIC, does not include information about its funders on its website, but IFIC's funders are known to include corporations like Monsanto, BASF, Cargill, Dow, DuPont, and Syngenta. On AFIC's old website a link was included to IFIC which stated, 'IFIC is a similar organisation to AFIC based in the US.' In a press release on the current website IFIC is described as AFIC's 'US-based sister organization (IFIC)'.
According to the Annual Report 2003 of CropLife Asia, a trade body supported by BASF, Bayer, Dow, Dupont, Monsanto and Syngenta, 'An important part of 2003 activity was alliance building with like-minded organisations supporting biotechnology science in the region. The project team continued to support the work of ISAAA across Asia-Pacific, and its network of Biotechnology Information Centres (BIC) in particular. The team also continued its strong alliance with the Asian Food Information Council (AFIC) and support for its biotechnology consumer surveys, and development of strong local positive biotechnology messages.' Given AFIC's parallels with IFIC it is interesting to note that IFIC's consumer surveys are deliberately designed to prompt positive responses about 'biotechnology'.
AFIC has also collaborated with ISAAA (the biotech industry-backed International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications) to develop for the Asia Pacific region a special educational guide, Food Biotechnology: a Communications Guide to Enhance Understanding.