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.

SAARC Regional Expert Consultation Meeting on the Progress and Prospects of Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety in South Asia

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.

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Gene Drive Modeling Conference

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.

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Informing Risk Assessment with the Mosquito Gene Drive Explorer (MGDrivE)

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.

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Making Connections: Interdisciplinary Science to Solve Real World Problems

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.

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Biosafety Regulations for Biotech Researchers and Biosafety Practitioners

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.

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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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OECD Consensus Document of the Biology of Mosquito Aedes aegypti

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.

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