New technologies have the promise to transform agricultural productivity and nutrition. However, many governments lack the risk assessment resources and experience needed to assure decision-makers and the public that environmental and food safety concerns posed by products of these technologies have been adequately addressed. The ILSI Research Foundation is developing risk assessment resources and providing training to scientists, risk assessors, and regulators, to promote science-based risk assessments of products of biotechnology.
Collaborators & Partners
US Agency for International Development (USAID), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), and governmental ministries and departments in India and Bangladesh.
The ILSI Research Foundation's active programs related to biosafety capacity building include:
The ILSI Research Foundation's concluded projects in the area of biosafety capacity building include:
The OECD Working Group on the Harmonisation of Regulatory Oversight in Biotechnology (WG-HROB), for which the ILSI Research Foundation is a recognized observer organization, works on technical issues related to the environmental risk/safety assessment of organisms that are produced through modern biotechnology.
The ILSI Research Foundation’s South Asia Biosafety Program and the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority jointly organized a workshop to build awareness and strengthen institutional governance of biosafety in Bangladesh.
The ILSI Research Foundation’s South Asia Biosafety Program arranged a day-long workshop to take stock of the present status at various research institutes and laboratories that are actively involved in GE research in Bangladesh.
Hosted by the ILSI Research Foundation, in partnership with COMESA and ASARECA, this workshop introduced the online GEnZ Explorer tool, which allows confined field trial (CFT) locations to be characterized with respect to agroclimatic zones to facilitate data transportability of CFTs.
|10:15-10:20||Welcome Address||Dr. Aparna Islam
South Asia Biosafety Program
|10:20-10:45||History and Context for Food Safety Assessment of Foods Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants||Dr. Andrew F. Roberts
Deputy Executive Director
ILSI Research Foundation
|10:45-11:05||Indian Food Safety Guidelines for GM Crops and Harmonization Efforts in SARSO||Dr. Vibha Ahuja
Chief General Manager
Biotech Consortium India Limited
|11:05-11:35||GM Food: Biosafety Aspects, Legal Requirements, and Mandates of BFSA||Mr. Monzur Morshed Ahmed
Bangladesh Food Safety Authority
|11:35-12:15||Round Table & Open Discussion|
|12:15-12:20||Speech by the Chair||Mr. Rejaul Karim
Bangladesh Food Safety Authority
|12:20-12:30||Speech by the Chief Guest||Mr. Mahbub Kabir
Chairman (In Charge)
Bangladesh Food Safety Authority
https://www.newagebd.net/article/100567/regulators-not-ready-to-deal-with-gm-tech-bfsa (accessed March 3, 2020) Read about the event in the SABP Newsletter! [post_title] => Genetically Modified Food: Requirements for Compliance and Consumer Awareness [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bfsa2020 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-10 16:52:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-10 16:52:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://ilsirf.org/?post_type=event&p=11580 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => event [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11572 [post_author] => 65 [post_date] => 2020-03-02 20:20:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-02 20:20:38 [post_content] => Overview Agenda Photos Overview
Bangladesh has engaged in research in plant biotechnology for more than 30 years, beginning with plant tissue culture in the 1980s and toward genetic transformation to develop Genetically Engineered (GE) crops in the mid 2000s. Since then, research has progressed and the number of crops and projects underway has expanded, both at public and private research institutes, as well as universities.
In light of the potential for modern biotechnology to enhance food and nutritional security, while keeping in mind public concerns about human and environmental safety, the Government of Bangladesh has developed a series of policies and procedures intended to facilitate the research, development, and safe application of biotechnology. The regulatory framework in Bangladesh is supported by a series of official publications, including: Biosafety Guidelines (2006), National Biosafety Framework (2007), Bangladesh Biosafety Rules (2012), Guidelines for Food Safety Assessment of GE Foods (2012), and Environmental Risk Assessment Guidelines for GE Plants (2016). All these publications may be accessed at bangladeshbiosafety.org.
Currently, many public research institutions, individually or in collaboration with foreign research partners, are developing GE crops in Bangladesh. One of the successful examples of collaborative research is Bt brinjal, which got approved by the Government of Bangladesh on October 30, 2013 for limited cultivation in the field. Since 2014, this trait has been cultivated commercially for human consumption, making Bangladesh a pioneer in the arena of GE food crop commercialization in South Asia. Many other crops are now ready to be assessed or already under trial to evaluate their performance. To support such activities, the Government of Bangladesh has developed supporting documents, such as the Standard Operation Protocols (SOPs) for Confined Field Trial (CFT), Data Recording Formats for CFT, and Manual for Confined Field Trial. As per the Biosafety Guidelines, institutions conducting research and development with GE plants need to operate in accordance with these documents, and it is the responsibility of Institutional Biosafety Officers (IBOs) or Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBC) to ensure that individual researchers are in compliance. But, as the number of crops are diversifying in the field of GE research, it is important to periodically review and update these documents, and to develop appropriate additional materials to ensure that research can continue unhindered while meeting standards for biosafety.
Against the backdrop of continued developments in both research and regulation of biosafety in Bangladesh, the South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP) arranged a day-long workshop on February 20, 2020 in Dhaka, to take stock of the present status at various research institutes and laboratories that are actively involved in GE research in Bangladesh. This was carried out through open discussion among the practitioners, the network established in 2019 during SABP's first IBO Workshop. Through exchanging experiences, participants increased their knowledge of biosafety compliance during the research and development of GE plants. Moreover, they identified areas where there are gaps are in terms of capacity building and/or document requirements. Finally, they received hands-on training in SOP development for CFTs, as new institutes are getting engaged in this stage.Agenda
|Time||Session||Facilitator/ Instructor/ Presenter|
|Session 1: Introduction to SABP's IBO Program in Bangladesh|
|10:00-10:20||Welcome and Introduction||Dr. Aparna Islam|
|10:20-10:40||Biosafety Regulation for GE crops in Bangladesh||Mr. Solaiman Haider|
|10:40-11:00||Institutional Biosafety Officers:
Roles, Expectations and Challenges in Bangladesh
|Dr. Andrew F. Roberts|
|Session 2: Taking Stock of Research Initiatives and Need Identification|
|11:30-12:15||Taking Inventory of Relevant Biosafety Documents||Dr. Aparna Islam|
|12:15-13:00||Introduction to Plant Biology Documents and Confined Field Trial SOPs||Dr. Andrew F. Roberts|
|Session 3: Confined Field Trials|
|14:00-14:30|| Group Discussion
Identification of needs in documentation, resources, and best practices for institutional biosafety.
Prioritizing future crop biology and CFT SOP documents.
|Dr. Andrew F. Roberts|
|Session 4: The Biosafety Research in Bangladesh Grants Program 2020 (BRBGP2020)|
|15:15-15:30||Introduction to the Biosafety Research in Bangladesh Grants Program||Dr. Andrew F. Roberts|
|15:30-15:45||Conclusion||Dr. Andrew F. Roberts|
Confined field trials (CFTs) are conducted to determine whether a trait introduced through genetic engineering (GE) of a plant results in unintended environmental effects. CFTs are historically performed locally within each country that is considering cultivation of the GE plant, and data from CFTs is used to inform an environmental risk assessment used for regulatory decision-making. As all CFTs are designed to compare the GE crop to its non-GE comparator, data collected on the same traits from CFTs in new countries generally duplicate previous studies and do not further inform risk assessment. One way to reduce the duplication of CFTs is to use pre-existing CFT data obtained from an environment similar to that of the host country.
The ILSI Research Foundation hosted the Data Transportability for COMESA Workshop in Entebbe, Uganda on February 12-13, 2020, in partnership with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), to discuss the online GEnZ Explorer tool. This free tool allows CFT locations to be characterized with respect to agroclimatic zone to facilitate data transportability of CFTs. Participants received hands-on experience with the tool to identify the location of CFT data generated outside of their country that were conducted in similar environments to those found in their country. Participants also provided updates on the regulatory systems and approval process from COMESA countries. The second day of the workshop included discussions, facilitated by ASARECA, on how data transportability concepts and the GEnZ Explorer can be applied to the COMESA Regional Risk Assessment Policy.
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This summary publication captures the findings from four African consultations organized by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to identify risk hypotheses and data needs for future environmental risk assessment of gene drives in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae.
Volume 8 of the series Safety Assessment of Transgenic Organisms in the Environment contains the first OECD biosafety consensus document to deal with the biology of an insect, the mosquito Aedes aegypti.
Surrogate species have a long history of use in research and regulatory settings to understand the potentially harmful effects of toxic substances including pesticides.
RNA interference, or RNAi, refers to a set of biological processes that make use of conserved cellular machinery to silence genes.
This article is the Spanish translation of “Proposed Criteria for Identifying GE Crop Plants That Pose a Low or Negligible Risk to the Environment Under Conditions of Low-Level Presence in Seed,” which appeared in Transgenic Research.