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.

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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SABP Webinar Series: GM Crop Research and Biosafety Go Hand in Hand

Organized by the South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP) in collaboration with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU), this online event was the fourth 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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Microbial Biotechnology for Novel Foods Webinar Series

Supported by a grant from the New Technologies and Production Methods Division at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Trade Policy and Geographic Affairs (TPGA) area, the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute organized this webinar series to discuss the history and opportunities of microbial biotechnology for novel foods.

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SABP Webinar Series: Biosafety in Agriculture Biotechnology – In the Eyes of Future Researchers

Organized by the South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP) in collaboration with Dhaka University, this online event was the third 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 in Crop Biotechnology Research

Organized by the South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP) in collaboration with Jahangirnagar University, Savar, this online event was the second 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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The Partnership for Biosafety Risk Assessment and Regulation: Project Summary

View the summary document of the Partnership for Biosafety Risk Assessment and Regulation. 

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Proposed Criteria for Identifying GE Crop Plants That Pose a Low or Negligible Risk to the Environment Under Conditions of Low-Level Presence in Seed

The low-level presence (LLP) of genetically engineered (GE) seeds that have been approved in the country of origin but not the country of import presents challenges for regulators in both seed importing and exporting countries, as well as for the international seed trade and the farmers who rely on it.

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The Partnership for Biosafety Risk Assessment and Regulation: External Evaluation

The Partnership for Biosafety Risk Assessment and Regulation (PBRAR) is one of the few biotechnology and biosafety programs that has successfully created bridges between the agricultural sector and the environmental sector.  Strong program leadership by the Director of the Center for Environmental Risk Assessment and senior technical and communications staff leading the PBRAR’s various activities contributed to the success of the program. Read this evaluation report from Dr. Gabrielle Persley about the program.

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Transportability of Confined Field Trial Data for Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Plants: A Conceptual Framework

It is commonly held that confined field trials (CFTs) used to evaluate the potential adverse environmental impacts of a genetically engineered (GE) plant should be conducted in each country where cultivation is intended, even when relevant and potentially sufficient data are already available from studies conducted elsewhere.

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Low Level Presence in Seed: A Science Based Approach to Expedited Environmental Risk Assessment

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute organized a workshop held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 18-19, 2013 on low level presence (LLP) in seed. This document contains the conference proceedings to address the potential adverse environmental impacts that might arise from an LLP in seed situation using a consistent and scientifically defensible approach to environmental risk assessment.

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