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:
One CGIAR Global Webinar Series on Genome Editing in Agriculture: Innovations for Sustainable Production and Food Systems
via Webcast, Online
September 22, 2020 - October 20, 2020
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.
October 5, 2020
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.”
September 22, 2020
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.”
August 26, 2020
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.”
Washington, DC, USA
June 15, 2020 - August 31, 2020
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.
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.
Dynamic Role and Importance of Surrogate Species for Assessing Potential Adverse Environmental Impacts of Genetically Engineered Insect-Resistant Plants on Non-Target Organisms
Wach M, Hellmich R L, Layton R, Romeis J, Gadaleta P G
Transgenic Research | March 1, 2016
Surrogate species have a long history of use in research and regulatory settings to understand the potentially harmful effects of toxic substances including pesticides.
Roberts A F, Devos Y, Lemgo G N, Zhou X
Frontiers in Plant Science | November 10, 2015
RNA interference, or RNAi, refers to a set of biological processes that make use of conserved cellular machinery to silence genes.