Overview: The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute’s Center for Environmental Risk Assessment and the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences convened a conference on the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically engineered (GE) plants in Dhaka, Bangladesh from April 15-17, 2012. This conference was organized under the South Asia Biosafety Program with further support from the Bangladesh Department of the Environment and the Pakistan Strategy Support Program. Scientists from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal participated.

Program: Presentations about topics important to the regulation and environmental risk assessment of GE plants were presented by experts from around the world.  Topics included international experience with ERA, the development of GE plants and their regulation in South Asia, select topics on ERA, and post release stewardship of GE plants.  The final session was a panel discussion on the importance of regulatory processes for enhancing the credibility of ERA.

Session I: International Experience with Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Plants

Introduction to Environmental Risk Assessment of GE Plants
Andrew Roberts, Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, USA

Contributions of the OECD to International Harmonization of ERA
Sally McCammon, OECD Working Group on the Harmonization of Regulatory Oversight in Biotechnology

Risk Assessment under the Cartagena Protocol
Sol Ortiz-Garcia, CIBIOGEM, Mexico

A Comparative Review of International Requirements for ERA of GE Plants
Vibha Ahuja, Biotech Consortium India Ltd.

Session II: National Experiences with ERA of GE Plants in South Asia

Status of GE Plant Research and Regulation of GE Plants in India
Swapan Datta, Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Ranjini Warrier, Ministry of Environment & Forests, India

Status of GE Plants Trials in Bangladesh
M.K.A. Chowdhury, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council

Trends in Research & Development of GE Plants in Bangladesh
R.H. Sarker, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Regulation of GE Plants in Bangladesh
M. Solaiman Haider, Department of Environment, Bangladesh

Status of GE Plant Research & Regulation of GE Plants in Pakistan
Yusuf Zafar, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission

Status of GE Plant Research & Regulation of GE Plants in Sri Lanka
Chandrika Nanayakkara, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Session III: Selected Topics in ERA

Differentiating Environmental Risk Assessment and Ecological Research
Andrew Roberts, Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, USA

Evaluating Adverse Environmental Impacts on Non-Target Organisms
Raymond Layton, DuPont Pioneer, USA

Considering Gene Flow to Wild and Weedy Relatives
Joe Smith, Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, Australia

Gene Flow in Centers of Origin and Biodiversity
Ariel Alvarez Morales, CIBIOGEM, Mexico

The Challenge of Addressing Biodiversity as a Protection Goal in ERA
Andrew Roberts, Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, USA

Session IV: Stewardship and Resistance Management for GE Crops

Introduction to Product Stewardship Practices for Insect Resistance Management
Michael Wach, Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, USA

Insect Resistance Management of Bt Crops
Raymond Layton, DuPont Pioneer, USA

Herbicide Resistance Management of GE Crops
Martin Gibson, CropLife Asia, Singapore

Session V: Enhancing Credibility of ERA and Subsequent Decision Making (Panel Discussion)

The Importance of Regulatory Process for Enhancing Credibility of ERA and Subsequent Decision Making
Joe Smith, Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, Australia 

 

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