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.

Agricultural Biotechnology: Global and Local Experience

The South Asia Biosafety Program, in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is organizing a webinar to provide an update on the status of biotechnology development in Bangladesh and raise awareness of how this technology is being managed to achieve sustainable benefits for the country.

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SABP Webinar Series: GM Crops – Food Security and Biosafety in Bangladesh Perspectives

Organized by the South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP) in collaboration with the University of Rajshahi, this online event was the eighth 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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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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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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A Review of the Environmental Safety of the Cry3Bb1 Protein

This document provides a comprehensive review of the information and data relevant to the environmental risk assessment of Cry3Bb1, a protein encoded by a gene isolated from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), and it presents a summary statement about the environmental safety of this protein when produced in genetically engineered (GE) maize (Zea mays) plants.

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Surrogate Species Selection for Assessing Potential Adverse Environmental Impacts of Genetically Engineered Insect-Resistant Plants on Non-Target Organisms

Most regulatory authorities require that developers of genetically engineered insect-resistant (GEI R) crops evaluate the potential for these crops to have adverse impacts on valued non-target organisms (NTOs), i.e., organisms not intended to be controlled by the trait.

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Genetically Engineered Trees for Plantation Forests: Key Considerations for Environmental Risk Assessment

Forests are vital to the world’s ecological, social, cultural and economic well-being yet sustainable provision of goods and services from forests is increasingly challenged by pressures such as growing demand for wood and other forest products, land conversion and degradation, and climate change.

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