BAFRA prepares for Regulation of Genetically Modified Organism

2A 10 days training workshop through the support of National Biosafety Framework Project under Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority on risk assessment, risk management and risk communication of Genetically Modified food, feed and plants is being conducted from 23rd September 2013 at Wangchuk Resort, Taba, Thimphu.

The training is being conducted in two different components – first week of the training is on risk assessment/management of GM food and feed for which an international expert Dr. Dr.Jansen Van Rijssen from South Africa is filled in as the resource person. Dr. Rijssen involvement in GMO included food safety and risk assessments, development of legislation and guidelines, participation in several Codex Alimentarius committees, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) task force for the safety of novel food and feeds, the OECD working group on harmonization in legislative oversight in biotechnology; and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) advisory committee on biotechnology and biosafety. Her experience in work with GMOs stretches over more than 20 years.

The second week of the training will be on environmental risk assessment of GMO for which another International Expert Dr. Jeremy Sweet from UK is being filled in as the resource person. Dr. Sweet has spent the last 23 years conducting research on the risk assessment of GMOs. He is an author in over 40 scientific papers on GMOs. He was vice-chairman of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) GMO Panel and was Chairman of the Environment Working Groups on GM plants and GM fish.

The objective of the training is to train the biosafety technical working group comprising of nine officials from important stakeholders and BAFRA officials to understand different concepts, principles and approaches of GMO risk assessment, management and communication and simultaneously develop a guideline for GMO risk assessment, management and communication. The guideline will enable the national competent authority and the biosafety technical working group to carry-out appropriate risk analysis for GMOs and products thereof.

This training will contribute to the strengthening of national capacity for implementation of biosafety regulations for Bhutan.

Submitted by the National Biosafety Framework Project, BAFRA

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