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Biosafety of GM Crops in Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda

2014 May

Biosafety GMO Crops

Biosafety of GM Crops in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania by Judy Chambers

Development of plant biotechnology (GMO) biosafety regulations in the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania has been an evolving process of both progress and retreat according to Dr. Judith A. Chambers, who leads the Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS) at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Chambers, who holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania, is the author of a comprehensive review on the regulatory landscape in the three countries.

Effective biosafety regulations would enable the appropriate development, use and realization of benefits of plant biotechnology (GMOs). The report provides a situational analysis of the biosafety systems in the three countries, and the factors, such as the Cartagena Protocol, that contribute to common and disparate approaches to regulatory decision making. The report also addresses recent trends and provides recommendations for science-based regulation and policy development.

Chambers highlights that the three countries relative experiences underscore the importance of an organized and broad-based stakeholder support to enact rational policy. She recommends that efforts to establish “south-south” regulatory training and capacity-building examples from Brazil and Argentina offer another example of realizing the benefits of biotechnology.

Click here for a full copy of the report: Biosafety of GM Crops in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania: An Evolving Landscape of Regulatory Progress and Retreat, by Judith Chambers, PhD.