Overview: The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute’s Center for Environmental Risk Assessment organized a conference on current approaches to the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically engineered (GE) crops in New Delhi, India in May 2011. This conference provided attendees with an opportunity to hear leading scientists from regulatory agencies, public sector research institutions and the private sector in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, India, Mexico, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the U.S. present on the current science that is used to inform the environmental risk assessment of genetically engineered crops.

Program: The conference featured sessions on:

  • International Experience in Environmental Risk Assessment of GE Plants
  • Problem Formulation for Environmental Risk Assessment
  • Selected Topics in ERA
  • Additional Science for Oversight of GE Plants
  • Recurring Issues for ERA of GM Plants

Session I: International Experience in Environmental Risk Assessment of GE Plants

International Consensus on ERA of GM Crops: Contributions from the OECD
Sally McCammon, USDA, United States

ERA of GE Crops in Australia
Joe Smith, Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, Australia

ERA of GE Crops in the Philippines
Flerida Carino, University of the Philippines, Philippines

ERA of GE Crops in India
Ranjini Warrier, Ministry of Environment and Forests, India

ERA of GE Crops in India
S.R. Rao, Department of Biotechnology, India

Session II: Problem Formulation for Environmental Risk Assessment

Problem Formulation in Environmental Risk Assessment: Where Do We Begin?
Alan Gray, UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology, United Kingdom

Problem Formulation in Environmental Risk Assessment: Reducing Uncertainty in Decision-Making
Alan Raybould, Syngenta

Context for Problem Formulation – 25 years of Biosafety Research in the EU
Ioannis Economidis

Applying Problem Formulation to ERA in India
Vibha Ahuja, BCIL, India

Perspective on ERA from a Public Sector Research Organization
Swapan Datta, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, India

Session III: Selected Topics in ERA

Collecting Data and Interpreting Results from Field Trials
Donald MacKenzie, Pioneer Hi-Bred, United States

Gene Flow to Wild and Weedy Relatives
Phil Macdonald, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canada

Considering Gene Flow in Centers of Origin or Centers of Diversity
Ariel Alvarez-Morales, CIBIOGEM, Mexico

Early Tier Lab Testing of Non-Target Organisms
Joerg Romeis, Agroscope ART, Switzerland

Semi-field and Field Studies for Assessing Impacts on Non-Target Organisms
Alan Raybould, Syngenta, United States

Session IV: Additional Science for Oversight of GE Plants

Post Release Environmental Monitoring (PREM)
Alan Gray, UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology, United Kingdom

PREM – General Surveillance in Brazil
Paulo Paes de Andrade, Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil

Canada’s Approach to PREM
Phil Macdonald, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canada

Insect Resistance Management: The Past, the Present and the Future
Rick Roush, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, Australia

Insect Resistance Management – Predicting Insect Resistance in Bt Cotton using Modeling
K.R. Kranthi, Central Institute for Cotton Research, India

Recurring Issues for ERA of GM Plants – Panel Discussions

Horizontal Gene Transfer
Andrew Roberts, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute, CERA, United States

Antibiotic Resistance Markers
Ioannis Economidis

Herbicide Tolerance Management of GE Crops
Donald MacKenzie, Pioneer Hi-Bred, United States

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