Biosafety Agreement

Posted on January 29, 2022 · Posted in Uncategorized

Main requirement: According to the current wording of the negotiating text, shipments of products covered by the provisions would require an explicit prior informed agreement (AEOI) between exporting and importing countries before the product can be shipped. The exporter would provide the importer with written notification of the shipment as well as a full risk assessment. The deadline for acceptance or rejection of the shipment is not clear, but can be up to 6 months or even undefined. Within the framework of the CBD, a Biosafety Working Group (BSWG) has been established to draft a protocol that addresses the “transfer, management and use of living modified organisms” (LMOs) derived from biotechnology that may have a negative impact on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The BSWG negotiates aspects of GNP, including the scope of the Protocol, advance informed agreements on shipments of LMOs, risk assessment parameters, liability, labelling, confidentiality, the status of non-contracting parties and the relationship between GNP and other international agreements. The CBD website (www.biodiv.org) contains detailed information about CBD and BSP. The First Meeting of the Parties adopted decisions establishing identification requirements for different categories of LMOs (Decision BS-I/6, SCBD 2004). However, the Second Meeting of the Parties did not reach agreement on detailed requirements for the identification of LMOs for direct use as food or feed or for processing, and will need to revisit this issue at its third meeting in March 2006. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which complements the Convention on Biological Diversity, aims to ensure the safe handling, transport and use of modified organisms using modern biotechnology. UN Environment is working in partnership with the Global Environment Facility and the Convention on Biological Diversity to assist Parties to the Cartagena Protocol in meeting their obligations under the Agreement. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which complements the Convention on Biological Diversity, is an international convention that aims to ensure the safe handling, transport and use of modified organisms using modern biotechnology. The Protocol aims to protect against adverse effects on biodiversity, taking into account risks to human health.

The Protocol, which entered into force in 2003, now has 170 signatories. The Protocol promotes biosafety by establishing rules and procedures for the safe movement, handling and use of LMOs, with particular emphasis on transboundary movements of LMOs. It includes a number of procedures, including one for LMOs to be intentionally introduced into the environment, the so-called prior informed agreement procedure, and one for LMOs to be used directly as food or feed or for processing. Parties to the Protocol shall ensure that LMOs are handled, packaged and transported safely. In addition, the shipment of LMOs that are non-physical shipments must be accompanied by appropriate documentation indicating, inter alia, the identity of the LMOs and the point of contact for further information. These procedures and requirements are intended to provide importing Parties with the necessary information they need to make informed decisions on whether or not to accept imports of LMOs and to process them safely. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international convention on biosafety in addition to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which has been in force since 2003. The Biosafety Protocol aims to protect biodiversity from the potential risks posed by genetically modified organisms derived from modern biotechnology.

Our work in the area of biosafety is guided by the Strategic Plan of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Global Environment Facility Strategy on Biosafety. The latter has three objectives: the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, also known as the Biosafety Protocol, was adopted in January 2000 after an ad hoc open working group on biosafety of the CBD met six times between July 1996 and February 1999. The Working Group submitted a draft Protocol to the Protocol to the Conference of the Parties for consideration at its first special session, convened with the express purpose of adopting a Biosafety Protocol on Biosafety related to CBD emission control and biosafety. After some delays, the Cartagena Protocol was finally adopted on 29 January 2000[5]. The Biosafety Protocol aims to protect biodiversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. [6] Keywords: biosafety, biosafety, biological material, biological agent, containment, regulation, (bio)risk assessment A number of agreements within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO), such as the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) as well as the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Rights (TRIPS), contain provisions relating to the Protocol. The preamble to the Protocol states: “We support projects that help countries meet their obligations under the Cartagena Protocol or enable them to become parties to the Agreement. UN Environment is working in partnership with the Global Environment Facility and the Convention on Biological Diversity to assist Parties to the Cartagena Protocol in meeting their obligations under the Agreement. We do this by providing training, supporting biosafety capacity building projects, and helping governments meet their reporting obligations. We also advise Parties on negotiations and other activities and decisions related to the Protocol.

Scope of the Protocol: The BSWG is currently reviewing the materials, genetic modification techniques and activities that the BSP will cover. Many Parties support the extension of the scope beyond organisms that may adversely affect biodiversity to most and possibly all LMOs. Others want to further expand the scope to include products derived from or manufactured by LVO. If this approach is accepted, GNP would cover cereals in large quantities, raw and processed foods and food ingredients, animal feed and pharmaceuticals. The biotech products covered are likely to include most genetically modified organisms, including modified cells and seeds, and may also include: products derived from or manufactured from genetically modified organisms/cells/seeds or vectors and plasmids used to produce genetically modified organisms/cells/seeds. There are many methods to “modify genetic material in ways that do not occur naturally,” some of which have been used for decades. Genetic modification methods covered by GNP that are still under discussion will include recombinant DNA techniques and direct injection of nucleic acids into cells, and could also include cell fusion and other genetic modification techniques. Therefore, LMOs genetically modified using any of these techniques and products derived from these LMOs may be covered.

We also work in partnership with the World Health Organization, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its Platform for Genetically Modified Organisms. Background: The Biosafety Protocol (GNP) is an offshoot of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a multilateral treaty for the protection of biological diversity. The strong and laudable objectives of the CBD are: to preserve biodiversity and ensure its sustainable use, and to promote the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits of genetic resources inherent in biodiversity. Each Party is required to take measures to ensure that LMOs subject to a deliberate transboundary movement are accompanied by documents indicating the LMOs and the contact details of the persons responsible for such shipment […].