Inception Webinar on Genetically Modified Foods: Context and Safety Assessment

    May 17, 2022
    3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    (Virtual - Time in BST)
    Dhaka, Bangladesh

The South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP) has been working in Bangladesh since 2005 in cooperation with the Government of Bangladesh to strengthen and support institutional governance of biotechnology. The collaboration resulted in the publication of several guidelines by the Government of Bangladesh, including the guidance document “Bangladesh Guidelines for Safety Assessment of Foods Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants.” This guidance was published by the then Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2012 and was adopted by the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution as a national standard in 2013.

The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) has been identified in the Food Safety Act as the responsible body for ensuring that foods derived from GE plants that enter Bangladesh are safe. SABP is organizing a series of workshops with BFSA and the Ministry of Food to ensure that BFSA has operational capacity to implement safety assessments for foods derived from GE plants in accordance with the guidelines. The introductory event took place on May 17, 2022 and will be followed by in depth technical training for officers or committee members who will be responsible for technical reviews. The sensitization workshop was a by-invitation-only event for BFSA staff, committee members, and other relevant stakeholders, to improve understanding of the global status of GM food in Bangladesh, as well as the safety assessment paradigm for whole foods.

Guest Speakers

Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum, Ph.D.
Honorable Secretary, Ministry of Food, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Md. Abdul Kayowm Sarker
Chairman, Bangladesh Food Safety Authority
Monzur Morshed Ahmed
Member (Public Health & Nutrition), Bangladesh Food Safety Authority

SABP Speakers

Rakha Hari Sarker, Ph.D.
Country Coordinator South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP)
Andrew Roberts, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI)
Bhavneet Bajaj, Ph.D., PMP
Manager, Scientific Programs Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI)


3:00 pm

Welcome and Introductions

Dr. Rakha Hari Sarker, Country Coordinator, South Asia Biosafety Program

3:10 pm

Speech by the Special Guest

Mr. Md. Abdul Kayowm Sarker, Chairman, Bangladesh Food Safety Authority

3:20 pm

Remarks by the Chief Guest

Dr. Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum, Honorable Secretary, Ministry of Food,
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

3:30 pm

GM Foods: Introduction and Global Status

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

4:00 pm

Status of GM Foods in Bangladesh and Mandates of BFSA

Mr. Monzur Morshed Ahmed, Member (Public Health & Nutrition), Bangladesh Food Safety Authority

4:20 pm

The Safety Assessment Paradigm for GM Foods

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

4:40 pm

Questions and Discussion

4:55 pm

Concluding Remarks

Dr. Rakha Hari Sarker, Country Coordinator, South Asia Biosafety Program