Developed countries have accumulated experiences in regulating biotechnology, including gene technology, ranging from voluntary to legally binding measures; from sectoral to holistic approaches.

The challenge for developing countries and countries with economies in transition is to build on existing experiences, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and taking into full account the growing body, and gaps, in scientific and socio-economic knowledge of biosafety and biotechnology.

A holistic and comprehensive regulatory approach to ensure biosafety would be based on the precautionary principle, covering the entire range of activities from research and development of GMOs to their commercialization, and post-release monitoring.

Sound science draws a clear line between ?containment? and ?release? so that an activity whereby a GMO or parts thereof comes into contact with the environment will be classified as a release. Regulations and measures for release will then apply.

Information disclosure to the public generates feedback, including scientific and technical inputs from independent scientists and researchers in the field of biosafety, which is crucial for sound regulation.

There are ongoing discussions in many countries and at the regional and international level on the scope of information that should be disclosed to the public. Technology developers and private biotechnology companies are claiming broader protection of data, beyond that of traditional trade secrets and confidential business information. The provision of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety for claims to ?confidential information?, if inappropriately implemented, can deprive the public of necessary information to ensure biosafety.

National regulations will thus need to ensure information disclosure, from both the private and public sector technology developers.

Late Lessons from Early Warnings, Volume 2

The European Environment Agency has published its report on ‘Late Lessons from Early Warnings: Science, Precaution, Innovation’. Among the case studies examined is that of GM crops. […]

New Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Laws Map

This new, interactive GE Food Labeling Laws map details the growing presence of laws requiring information on GE content in consumer food products around the world. […]

Will the US Push for Non-Labelling of GMOs in Trade Pact?

The US is likely to push countries in the TPP to not require labelling of GMOs. […]

Right to GMO-Free Food and Free Trade

Will losing the right to choose GM free food be a price of the next and biggest free trade deal? […]

TWN briefing on the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress

An introductory briefing by TWN on the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress, which examines the process, key elements and some key issues for developing countries. […]

US Groups File Petition to Insist on Labelling of GE Foods

The Center for Food Safety backed by hundreds of consumer, farming and health organizations, calls for mandatory labeling of GE foods. […]

German Advisory Body Takes Precautionary Approach to Nano

This report by the German Advisory Council on the Environment provides policy recommendations for the control of risks associated with nanotechnology. Fundamental is how the precautionary principle should be applied. […]

Consumer Rights Victory as Countries Agree on GM Labelling Guidelines

Regulators from more than 100 countries agreed on long overdue guidance on the labelling of GM food. […]

New Treaty on Liability for GMO Damage is Born

This TWN paper is a report of the 4th meeting of the Group of the Friends of the Co-Chairs on Liability and Redress in the Context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, where a Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress was completed. […]

Briefing for Liability and Redress Meeting under the Biosafety Protocol

Greenpeace calls for a binding international liability regime to ensure both compensation and redress for damage. […]