Frequently Asked Questions: Genetically Engineered Plants and Biosafety

Islam A, Ahuja V, and Roberts A (Contributors)
Biosafety Resource Book Series
March 30, 2021

The first genetically engineered plant, also called genetically modified (GM) crop, was approved for cultivation in 1994 in the USA. Since then, the global area under genetically engineered plants has increased to 190.4 million hectares in 2019. Bangladesh is one of the countries growing genetically engineered crops. To date, Bt brinjal is the only genetically engineered plant approved for cultivation in Bangladesh.

As with any new technology, the general public may have questions or concerns, including those related to the safety of new plants. To answer some of those questions and shed light on the concerns, SABP designed this booklet, Frequently Asked Questions: Genetically Engineered Plants and Biosafety, to explain information about genetically engineered plants in easy and understandable language.

The South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP) has been operating in Bangladesh since 2005 to strengthen institutional governance of biotechnology, including through development of regulatory documents, manuals, and assessment guidelines. SABP is also involved in capacity development of the research community to ensure proper implementation of biosafety regulatory processes. This booklet is the second installment in the Biosafety Resource Book Series and has been prepared as a part of SABP’s capacity development interventions.