Overview: On May 25-26, Dr. Michael Wach, from the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute, led a workshop in New Delhi, India, entitled: “Training Workshop on Monitoring of Confined Field Trials” 35 participants attended. A second workshop was held, June 3-4, in Hyderabad, for 21 participants.

Program: The workshops covered three broad topics:

  • Risk assessment and management of confined field trials
  • Indian guidelines for the management of confined field trials
  • The monitors’ role in the management of risks from confined field trials

The participants were researchers from various public institutions, with little or no experience in monitoring field trials. In addition to presentations, there were nine group exercises. Both groups of participants seemed to enjoy the workshops, and they seemed to both enjoy the exercises and found them to be a point of departure for numerous lively discussions on confined field trials and conducting research with GE plants. Dr. Ranjini Warrier, National Project Coordinator (NPC) and Director, MoEF&CC, gave a presentation on the Indian regulatory system for GE plants, Dr. Wach and Dr. O. P. Govila, Department of Genetics, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, co-presented the remaining sessions of the 2 workshops.

Outcomes: Post-event surveys indicate that the participants found the training valuable and felt that their understanding of risk assessment and management of GE CFTs was much improved after the workshop. Individuals from both workshops will be identified to become trainers themselves, using the course materials to train additional monitors throughout India, to improve the country’s ability to oversee CFTs and assure the public that research is being conducted in accordance with Indian laws and regulations.

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