Objective

New technologies have the promise to transform agricultural productivity and nutrition. However, many governments lack the risk assessment resources and experience needed to assure decision-makers and the public that environmental and food safety concerns posed by products of these technologies have been adequately addressed. The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute is developing risk assessment resources and providing training to scientists, risk assessors, and regulators, to promote science-based risk assessments of products of biotechnology.

Collaborators & Partners

US Agency for International Development (USAID), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), and governmental ministries and departments in India and Bangladesh.

Current Programs

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute's active programs related to biosafety capacity building include:

South Asia Biosafety Program

Managed by the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute, SABP assists India and Bangladesh in further strengthening institutional governance of biotechnology.

eLearning

Self-paced and interactive courses developed by the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute serve as supplemental training resources to in-person workshops.

Past Work

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute's concluded projects in the area of biosafety capacity building include:

Resources

SABP Newsletter

Find out about the work being done through the South Asia Biosafety Program by reading our monthly newsletter.

eLearning

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute has developed eLearning courses that focus on biosafety.

One CGIAR Global Webinar Series on Genome Editing in Agriculture: Innovations for Sustainable Production and Food Systems

Dr. Morven McLean, Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Vibha Ahuja, South Asia Biosafety Program Senior Advisor, and AFSI Trustee, Dr. Mark Rosegrant, participated as speakers in a webinar series organized to bring CGIAR centers and partners together with policy makers, academics, innovators, and other stakeholders to take stock of current research and applications of genome editing and address related topics that will impact the enabling environment needed to translate research into practice.

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SABP Webinar Series: Biosafety Regulatory Requirements in Agricultural Biotechnology

Organized by the South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP) in collaboration with Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), this online event was the seventh lecture in the SABP Webinar Series, which aims to build understanding of biosafety among students of biotechnology⁠, i.e., “tomorrow’s researchers.”

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SABP Webinar Series: Biosafety Guidelines in Biotechnology Research & Development

Organized by the South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP) in collaboration with Sylhet Agricultural University (SAU), this online event was the sixth lecture in the SABP Webinar Series, which aims to build understanding of biosafety among students of biotechnology⁠, i.e., “tomorrow’s researchers.”

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SABP Webinar Series: Biosafety at Every Step of Plant Biotechnology Research

Organized by the South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP) in collaboration with the National Institute of Biotechnology (NIB) of Bangladesh, this online event was the fifth lecture in the SABP Webinar Series, which aims to build understanding of biosafety among students of biotechnology⁠, i.e., “tomorrow’s researchers.”

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Safety Assessment of Foods and Feeds Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants

Supported by a grant from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and organized in collaboration with the Indonesian National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) and the Indonesian Center for Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources Research and Development (ICABIOGRAD), this online training course for Indonesian regulators consists of ten modules on the topic of GE food and feed safety assessment.

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Paraguay’s Path Toward the Simplification of Procedures in the Approval of GE Crops

This paper presents the recent evolution of the regulatory system in Paraguay toward the establishment of a simplified procedure for GE crops that have been already assessed by sound and experienced regulatory systems, taking into account several scientific criteria. Dr. Carmen Vicién, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute in-country partner, was a co-author of this paper, which references the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute’s involvement in the Partnership for Biosafety Risk Assessment and Regulation in Paraguay.

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Sublethal Endpoints in Non-Target Organism Testing for Insect-Active GE Crops

This review paper focuses on the current status and history of sublethal endpoint use in insect-active GE crops and evaluates the future use of sublethal endpoints for new and emerging technologies.

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Genetic Biocontrol for Invasive Species

This publication provides an overview of the state of genetic biocontrol, focusing on several approaches that were the subject of presentations at the Genetic Biocontrol for Invasive Species Workshop, which was sponsored by the OECD’s Co-operative Research Program on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems.

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Problem Formulation for Gene Drive Mosquitoes Designed to Reduce Malaria Transmission in Africa: Results from Four Regional Consultations 2016–2018

This summary publication captures the findings from four African consultations organized by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to identify risk hypotheses and data needs for future environmental risk assessment of gene drives in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae.

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Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety in South Asia: Progress and Prospects

This book contains the papers and proceedings of the SAARC Regional Consultative Meeting on the Progress and Prospects of Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety in South Asia, which took place on June 18- 20, 2019 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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