The challenge for countries, especially developing countries and countries with economies in transition, is the formulation of national policies and regulatory frameworks to ensure biosafety. The holistic approach to biosafety encompasses scientific, ecological, health, social, economic, cultural and ethical dimensions in the context of the precautionary principle. It also requires a long term perspective in assessing technology and its products.
A comprehensive biosafety policy will need to be accompanied by and integrated with policies in other related fields such as agriculture, science and technology, industrial development, health, biodiversity and environmental protection. An important element would be options for non-gene technology approaches to achieving a stated objective such as increased agricultural productivity, pest and disease management or environmental remediation. For developing countries with limited resources and/or alternative knowledge and practices in farming and health systems, this approach can be both cost-effective and ensures the further strengthening of national capacities and sovereignty over food, nutrition and health. A regulatory framework includes a national law, subsidiary regulations, administrative measures and implementation/enforcement mechanisms. Underlying this is the generation and flow of information and knowledge on biosafety that can be part of the public domain to ensure public participation and ever-deepening understanding and implementation of biosafety.
This section provides some information on the experiences of countries and regions.

Pressure on the EU to Deregulate New GMO Products

A year after the European Court of Justice ruled that the EU’s GMO rules should apply to new GM techniques, industry groups and the US Government are keeping up pressure on the European Union to deregulate, with implications for food and biosafety, as well as consumer choice. […]

Lessons from GMO Contamination in Canada

GMO escape and contamination incidents in Canada provide urgent lessons that need to be evaluated and understood before any more GM plants and animals are released in the country. […]

Briefing Paper: Gene Drive Organisms: What Africa Should Know About Actors, Motives and Threats to Biodiversity and Food Systems

This paper explains the serious risks and complexities that gene drive organisms pose to human health, the environment and society, particularly in the African context. […]

EU Parliament Against New Approvals for the Import of Genetically Engineered Plants

EU Parliament has adopted, with a large majority, several resolutions against approvals for GE maize, oilseed rape and cotton, while calling for higher standards in risk assessment and the strengthening of democratic decision making. […]

India’s Swaminathan Criticises GM Crops as Highly Unsustainable

In a recently published journal article, M.S. Swaminathan – Father of the Green Revolution in India – criticises GM crops as highly unsustainable. […]

Serious Shortcomings in U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology and Pesticide Regulation

This paper describes how and why U.S. regulators have lost track and control of pesticide risks. Shortcomings in agricultural biotechnology and pesticide regulation are identified, with suggested solutions. However, the costs to society remain sizeable. […]

Oregon Farmers Struggle to Control GE Bentgrass

GE bentgrass tolerant to Roundup is growing extensively in Malheur County, Oregon, creating huge problems for farmers who cannot control it, and exposing weaknesses in the oversight of GE plants and field testing in the United States. […]

EU Court of Justice Rules that Gene-Edited Organisms Are GMOs and Subject to GMO Regulations

The EU Court of Justice has ruled that organisms obtained by the new generation of gene editing techniques are GMOs and are subject to the obligations laid down by GM regulations of the EU. […]

Genome Editing: Legal Expert Criticises Opinion of Attorney General of the EuCJ

New legal opinion states that new methods of genetic engineering such as genome editing must be regulated under the current EU Directive 2001/18. […]

Statement on Gene Drives by the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board

The Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board recommends a moratorium on the use of gene drives until international regulations for handling and risk assessment are in place. […]