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.

New Zealand’s Regulation of Gene Editing and Synthetic Biology and the Need for Strengthened Regulatory Regimes

The Sustainability Council of New Zealand highlights important elements in the country’s biosafety law for good governance of GMOs, gene editing and synthetic biology,stressing the importance of strengthening national and international biosafety regimes. […]

GM Cotton in Africa: Battleground Between US and Chinese Capital

This report provides an overview of the GM cotton push in in East and Southern Africa, within the context of the global and regional cotton markets. […]

EPA Called to Start Monitoring Synergistic Effects of Pesticides

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General has released a report recommending that before approving pesticides, the agency should first assess the enhanced toxicity caused by interactions of pesticide mixtures. […]

Concerns Over Impacts of Mozambique’s Field Testing of GM Maize

A new report provides an analysis of the changes made to Mozambique’s biosafety legislation which has consequently allowed field trials of drought-tolerant GM maize to take place, and cites concerns over biosafety and farmers’ rights. […]

European Parliament Passes Resolutions Objecting to GM Maize and Cotton Imports

The European Parliament has passed resolutions objecting to the import of GM herbicide-resistant maize and cotton, citing concerns over harmful herbicide residues and calling for an overhaul of the EU GMO authorisation procedure. […]

GM Maize Found Growing Illegally in Bolivia

Genetically modified Roundup Ready maize has been reportedly found growing illegally in the Bolivian village of Charagua, posing a potential threat to native varieties of maize. […]

Major Upcoming Developments in the USDA’s Regulatory System on GMOs

The USDA is in the process of introducing new GMO disclosure laws and instituting fundamental changes to how it assesses and regulates GM plants as pests/noxious weeds. […]

Shocks for Developing Countries from President Trump’s First Days

His first days in office indicate that President Trump intends to implement what he promised, with serious consequences for the future of the UN, trade, the environment and international cooperation, and developing countries will be most affected. […]

Organic Agriculture Maintains Its Exclusion of All GM Technologies

The organic movement is expanding its stand on the exclusion of GM from organic systems, to include new technologies like synthetic biology and new plant breeding techniques. […]

Transitioning Out of GM Maize: Towards Nutrition Security, Climate Adaptation, Agro-Ecology and Social Justice

The African Centre for Biodiversity warns that to cope with drought and rising food prices, South Africa needs to urgently move away from genetically modified food and towards indigenous African crops. […]