The ILSI Research Foundation provided technical support under the risk assessment and risk management component of the Phase II Capacity Building Project on Biosafety, implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India. Financial support for the Phase II project was provided by the Global Environment Facility through the United Nations Environment Program. This work resulted in the publication of three key documents which enhance the transparency of the biosafety regulatory process in India.
Collaborators & Partners
Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (India), Biotech Consortium India Limited, UNEP
Areas of Focus
At the request of MoEF&CC, the ILSI Research Foundation provided technical support to the Phase II project, including:
- workshops on problem formulation and other aspects of environmental risk assessment (ERA)
- a survey of the pipeline of genetically engineered crops in development in India
- a comprehensive set of resource documents, including eight crop-specific biology documents
- training materials related to ERA
- a study tour to share learnings with the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (Australia)
In September 2016, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change announced the adoption of three new technical documents at the South Asia Biosafety Conference:
Effective implementation of the environmental risk assessment (ERA) guidance will require significant outreach and capacity building. All stakeholders, particularly those that are directly involved in biosafety regulation (e.g. central or state ministries, academics that provide science advice to regulators) and those that are regulated (e.g. scientists in public research institutions like ICAR or universities working on product development or the private sector), must clearly understand the purpose and requirements described in the ERA guidance.
To help support these efforts, the ILSI Research Foundation is working with the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to develop an e-learning training program that will serve both as a stand-alone resource for self-guided education, and as a complement to face-to-face training programs that MoEF&CC may undertake to raise awareness about the ERA guidelines.
Genetically engineered plants in the product development pipeline in India
GM Crops & Food Journal
In order to proactively identify emerging issues that may impact the risk assessment and risk management functions of the Indian biosafety regulatory system, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change sought to understand the nature and diversity of genetically engineered crops that may move to product commercialization within the next 10 y. This paper describes the findings from a questionnaire designed to solicit information about public and private sector research and development (R&D) activities in plant biotechnology. It is the first comprehensive overview of the R&D pipeline for GE crops in India.
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At the request of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), the ILSI Research Foundation provided technical support under the risk assessment and risk management component of the Phase II Capacity Building Project on Biosafety. MoEF&CC convened a culminating workshop in New Delhi to mark the completion of the Phase II project.