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.

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. […]

Swiss Government Plans to Extend GMO Moratorium to 2021

The Swiss Cabinet has approved a plan to extend the current moratorium on genetically modified organisms in agriculture to 2021. […]

Gene-edited Crops in the USA Slipping through the Regulatory Net

In the USA, the first CRISPR-edited crops may now be cultivated and sold without oversight by the regulatory agency, despite concerns persisting about their health and environmental risks. […]

GM Crops May Not Fit Swiss Agrosystems

A study analysing the environmental and socio-economic sustainability of GM crops in Switzerland has found that, if introduced, they may not fit well with the specific dynamics of Swiss agrosystems. […]

U.S. Review of GE Crops Calls for Greater Public Accountability

A U.S. review of GM crops has found the need for greater public accountability regarding health and safety aspects. […]

Why the Philippine Supreme Court Ruled Against Bt Eggplant

In 2015, the Philippine Supreme Court permanently stopped the field testing of Bt eggplant in the country, citing inadequacies in the risk assessment and public consultation processes and invoking the Precautionary Principle. […]

GE Alfalfa Found Growing Wild in West USA

A USDA study confirms that GE alfalfa has dispersed beyond cultivated fields in alfalfa-growing parts of western USA, calling into question its “coexistence” policy between GE and non-GE crops. […]

Philippine Supreme Court Orders Permanent Ban on Bt Brinjal Field Trials

The Philippine Supreme Court has upheld a decision in permanently stopping field trials for genetically modified Bt talong (Bt brinjal) in the country, citing a lack of scientific consensus on the safety of the food crop. […]

Are GM Crops and Foods Well Regulated

Canada has approved the commercialisation of GMOs for 20 years now. This report examines and critiques Canada’s biosafety regulatory system. […]

Majority of EU Member States Opt Out of GM Crop Cultivation

The majority of the 28 member states in the European Union have opted-out of GM crop cultivation. […]