Crop Biotech Update

Safety Assessment of GM Crops Completed in Korea

September 25, 2019

The objective of risk assessment is to identify and evaluate the potential risk and adverse effects to confirm food and environment safety of genetically modified organisms (GMO). Based on OECD and FAO/WHO guidelines, the safety assessment of GM plants follows a comparative approach in the concept of substantial equivalence.

In South Korea, the research teams involved in National Center for GM Crops (NCGC) program conducted safety assessments for 10 GM crops (events) over the last seven years from 2011 in accordance with the above guidelines. The GM crops are drought tolerant rice, insect resistant rice, resveratrol-enriched rice, rice stem cell containing high resveratrol, virus resistant pepper, three soybean plants producing functional proteins for cosmetic materials, and two herbicide tolerant grasses.

Among them, the herbicide tolerant grass with male sterility developed by a research team in Jeju National University is currently reviewing its safety by a safety regulatory agency in Korea whether to approve the use of it for commercial purposes. Rice stem cell containing high resveratrol developed by a domestic bio-company was approved in January 2018 for the production of resveratrol as an industrial material only in isolation facilities.

These high-value GM crops are expected to benefit both producers and consumers by increasing the consumption of crops and contributing to improving human health.

Read more information from Plant Breeding and Biotechnology journal.

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