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.
The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute's active programs related to biosafety capacity building include:
The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute's concluded projects in the area of biosafety capacity building include:
SAARC Regional Expert Consultation Meeting on the Progress and Prospects of Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety in South Asia
June 18, 2019 - June 20, 2019
The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute’s South Asia Biosafety Program and the SAARC Agriculture Center (SAC) co-organized the SAARC Regional Expert Consultation Meeting on the Progress and Prospects of Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety in South Asia to share information on the current status of agricultural biotechnology and biosafety regulations in the region.
Washington, D.C., USA
June 11, 2019 - June 12, 2019
With support from the USDA NIFA Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program, the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute organized this conference to bring together regulators, risk assessors, modelers, and biologists who understand gene drive technology to discuss the applicability of mathematical models for the environmental risk assessment of gene drive organisms.
Washington, D.C., USA
May 20, 2019
As part of the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute’s Gene Drive Modeling Conference Seminar Series, this presentation by Dr. John Marshall and Ms. Valeri Vasquez introduced the Mosquito Gene Drive Explorer framework, including assumptions, uncertainties, and planned modifications for agricultural pests.
Gainesville, FL, USA
May 16, 2019
Dr. Morven McLean, Executive Director, shared some examples of how the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute’s commitment to interdisciplinary science has opened up opportunities for the organization to extend its work.
May 2, 2019
The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute’s South Asia Biosafety Program, in collaboration with Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, organized a capacity building biosafety seminar in Bangladesh for regional scientists and academics.
Problem Formulation for Gene Drive Mosquitoes Designed to Reduce Malaria Transmission in Africa: Results from Four Regional Consultations 2016–2018
John L. Teem, Aggrey Ambali, Barbara Glover, Jeremy Ouedraogo, Diran Makinde, and Andrew Roberts
Malaria Journal | October 15, 2019
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.
Pradyumna Raj Pandey, Bhavneet Bajaj, and Aparna Islam (Editors)
SAARC Agriculture Centre | September 30, 2019
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.
OECD Working Group on the Harmonisation of Regulatory Oversight in Biotechnology
Safety Assessment of Transgenic Organisms in the Environment (Volume 8) | June 23, 2018
Volume 8 of the series Safety Assessment of Transgenic Organisms in the Environment contains the first OECD biosafety consensus document to deal with the biology of an insect, the mosquito Aedes aegypti.
Fernández Ríos D, Rubinstein C and Vicién C
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology | April 5, 2018
The need for functional risk assessment bodies in general, and in the biosafety field in particular, demands continued efforts and commitment from regulatory agencies, if results that are sustainable in time are to be achieved. 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 and the use of Agriculture & Food Systems Institute eLearning courses in Kenya.
Roberts A, Paes de Andrade P, Okumu F, Quemada H, Savadogo M, Singh JA, James S
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | November 29, 2016
Reducing the incidence of malaria has been a public health priority for nearly a century. However, before new technologies and associated vector control strategies can be developed and exploited, it will be necessary to understand and assess the likelihood of any potential harms to humans or the environment. To begin this process, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health and the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute organized an expert workshop to consider the potential risks related to the use of gene drives in Anopheles gambiae for malaria control in Africa.