Biotech Updates

SEAsian Regulators and Researchers Brush Up on Safety Evaluation of Biotech Crops

December 3, 2014

Regulators and researchers from public research institutions and private companies in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam were updated on the science-based approaches to the safety evaluation of biotech crops, particularly on environmental risk assessment (ERA) and food and feed safety assessment (FFSA) during the Regional Training-Workshop on Risk Assessment of GM Crops at the Institute of Biology, UP Diliman on December 1-3, 2014.

Dr. Randy A. Hautea, Global Coordinator and SEAsiaCenter Director of ISAAA, presented the global and Asian production and status of biotech crops. Professor at Ghent University and Free University of Brussels Mr. Piet van der Meer, and Director of Estel Consult Ltd., and Ms. Monica Garcia-Alonso set the background for ERA and FFSA and discussed the related international agreements, principles, and concepts. Senior Scientific Program Manager of ILSI-CERA (Center for Safety Assessment of Food and Feed) Mr. Michael Wach talked about accessing useful resources for ERA and food and feed safety assessment as well as risk communication as applicable to regulatory assessment. ERA guidelines in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam were presented by Dr. Flerida Carino, Dr. Muhammad Herman (ICABIOGRAD), and Dr. Khuat Lang Dong (Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology), respectively. The workshop also involved exercises and case studies on ERA and food and feed safety assessments.

The training-workshop was organized by the Department of Agriculture, UP Diliman-Institute of Biology, Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines (BCP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Cornell University.

For developments and updates on biotechnology in SEAsia, visit SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center's website at or send an e-mail to