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OECD Working Group on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds

Paris, France

The OECD Task Force on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds, for which the ILSI Research Foundation is a recognized observer organization, works on technical issues related to the food safety of novel foods and feeds, including the products of agricultural biotechnology.

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Genetic Biocontrol for Invasive Species

Tarragona, Spain

Sponsored by the OECD Co-operative Research Programme on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, this workshop highlighted different approaches to the control of invasive species that make use of transgenic organisms engineered for introduction into a target population in order to reduce or eliminate it.

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Overview

Agenda

Overview

Crop composition is an essential component of the food safety assessment for GE crops that are intended to be used as food. However, it is important to understand the purpose of the data and its context in the safety assessment. Open to attendees of the 15th ISBR Symposium, this workshop provided an opportunity to briefly discuss the rationale for considering crop composition data, how that data is interpreted in the context of the safety assessment, and what the limitations are to compositional studies.

The workshop also introduced participants to a resource for assisting in the interpretation of compositional studies—the ILSI Crop Composition Database. Participants saw a demonstration of the database and its features, highlighting updates and additions to Version 7.0, the latest iteration of the database that was launched in January 2019. Then, participants were provided with a series of exercises designed to help them understand the search reporting function of the ILSI Crop Composition Database, which they were able to walk through using their personal laptop during the workshop.

In order to ensure that organizers could provide assistance to participants while conducting the practical exercises, the workshop was limited to 20 participants and was conducted twice (at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm). More information about the workshop is available from the International Society for Biosafety Research.

Agenda

Welcome and Introduction

Compositional Assessment as a Component of Food Safety Assessment for GE Plants
Dr. Andrew Roberts, Deputy Executive Director, ILSI Research Foundation Introduction to the ILSI Crop Composition Database
Dr. Bhavneet Bajaj, Scientific Program Manager, ILSI Research Foundation

Practical Exercises

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Invasive species can pose a threat to the environment, agriculture, or human health. Most governmental approaches to control the spread of invasive species are focused on preventing new introductions. However, efforts to address the control of invasive species once they have become established have met with limited success. Genetic biocontrol of invasive species may offer a new opportunity to go beyond prevention and begin to reduce or eliminate invasive species through genetic strategies. This workshop highlighted different approaches to the control of invasive species that make use of transgenic and nontransgenic organisms designed for introduction into a target population in order to reduce or eliminate it. The presentations given on these various approaches compared them with respect to efficacy, biosafety, practicality, cost, and time frame for implementation.

This workshop was sponsored by the OECD Co-operative Research Programme: Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, whose financial support made it possible for some of the invited speakers to participate in the workshop. 

 

Agenda

[supsystic-tables id=9]

There will be a five minute period included at the end of each 30 minute presentation that will be used for questions and answers.

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Gene Drive Modeling Conference Seminar Series

SumitDhole_s

Dr. Sumit Dhole

Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Understanding how gene drives would behave in natural populations is critical if this tool is ever to be used for the variety of applications that it can potentially serve. However, a multitude of factors currently preclude gene drive experiments in natural populations. Mathematical models can prove useful in elucidating the expected behavior of gene drives in response to a number of biological factors and can also reveal patterns of gene drive spread that are too complex to be intuitively predicted. The assumptions and details of a mathematical model influence the applicability of the results to natural populations, similar to the role that experimental conditions play for laboratory experiments. Part of the ILSI Research Foundation’s Gene Drive Modeling Conference Seminar Series, this presentation by Dr. Sumit Dhole focused on how simple mathematical models can be used to study expected gene drive behavior, and how biological details can be added to simple models to address the effects of factors like migration and population-density dependence. A particular gene drive, called Engineered Underdominance, which has potential for spatially restricted population alteration served as a case study.

The online seminar was by invitation only.

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