23-27 July, Thimphu: The training Program on “GMO Food Safety Assessment and Risk Communication” was organised by Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests with Financial and Technical support from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
With enactment of Bio-safety Act of Bhutan 2015 and Bio-safety Rules and Regulations 2018, BAFRA is mandated to implement and enforce activities related to GMO. While it is understood that biotechnology provides potentially powerful tools for the sustainable development of agriculture, fisheries and forestry, as well as the food industry, there is a concern it may pose potential risks on human and animal health and the environment. As such, this training on GM food safety assessment is essential to assess risks posed by GM food and feed, should there be an import of food/feed derived from GMOs.
A total of 90 participants comprising of BAFRA officials, stakeholders, Bio-safety technical working group and private companies involved in processing of food/feed were present for the training. This program is also aimed at creating awareness on the new responsibilities entrusted on BAFRA to regulate and deal with issues/activities related to GMO and other related legal instruments implemented by BAFRA.
Some of the objectives of this training program were to:
- Understand the internationally accepted principles of GM food safety risk assessment and communication strategy
- Share an information on bio-safety and biotechnology in international arena
- Share experiences/challenges on GM food safety assessments from other regions similar to Bhutan
Bhutan is signatory to the Cartagena Protocol and has certain level of functional and effective bio-safety legal framework in place.
By Staff reporter
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