Agricultural Biotechnology Seminar Series 2023 – Seminar 2: Ensuring the Safety of Products from Agricultural Biotechnology

    August 30, 2023
    9:00 am - 11:00 am
    Virtual (KST/UTC+9)
    Singapore, Singapore

Agricultural biotechnology facilitates the development of plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms with traits that contribute to a sustainable and climate-resilient food production system. To realize the full potential of agricultural biotechnology, there is a need to ensure the safety of these products. Part of the Agricultural Biotechnology Seminar Series, this virtual seminar was a one-day event led by experts on the progress in scientific tools, methodologies, and frameworks used in the safety assessment of genetically modified (GM) and genome edited (GEd) organisms used in food production. This project provided a platform for APEC member economies to have an open discussion about the key considerations in evaluating the safety of products of agricultural biotechnology and to work towards safety assessment tools and guidelines that are scientifically robust and fit for purpose.

Agricultural Biotechnology Seminar Series

By bringing together policymakers, risk assessors, and scientists, the series seeks to foster greater participation and enhance engagement in the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology (HLPDAB) outside of the annual meeting.

This seminar’s objectives were:

  • Present how food safety assessment of stacked event GMOs is approached globally and the key considerations for the different approaches.
  • Offer insights into recent scientific methodologies that contribute to the safety assessment of GM and GEd organisms.
  • Showcase bioinformatics tools utilized in the safety assessment of novel proteins.


9:00 am

Technical Introduction

Dr. Bhavneet Bajaj
Manager – Scientific Programs, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI)

9:05 am

Opening Remarks

Mr. Teng Yong Low
Acting Director, Risk Assessment and Communication Department, National Center for Food Science, Singapore Food Agency (SFA)

9:10 am

Approach and Considerations in GMO Assessment from the United States’ Perspective

Mr. Jason Dietz
Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Food Additive Safety, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

9:25 am

Canada’s Perspective on Products of New Plant Breeding Technologies

Mr. Neil Strand
Section Head, Novel Foods, Food Directorate, Health Canada

9:40 am

Approach and Considerations in GMO Assessment from Singapore’s Perspective

Dr. Yan Hong
Deputy Chair, Singapore’s Genetic Modification, Advisory Committee (GMAC)
Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University

9:55 am

Modernizing Data Requirements for the Food and Feed Assessment of GM Crops

Dr. Bin Cong
Research Scientist/Technical Manager Seeds, Regulatory Sciences Regulatory and Stewardship,
Corteva Agriscience

10:10 am

Current Bioinformatics Tools to Guide Allergenicity Risk Assessment of Novel Proteins

Prof. Sebastian Maurer-Stroh
Executive Director, Bioinformatics Institute, A*STAR Singapore

10:25 am

Moderated Panel Discussion

Dr. Bhavneet Bajaj (moderator)

Speakers and Representative from the National Center for Food Science (NCFS), SFA (panelists)

10:55 am

Closing Remarks

Dr. Andrew Roberts
Chief Executive Officer, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI)

 *AFSI is supported by a grant from the USDA FAS New Technologies and Production Methods Division.