Crop Biotech Update

Mali Cabinet Adopts Decree on National Biosafety Committee

December 10, 2010

The Prime Minister and head of Mali in West Africa His Excellency Mr. Modibo Sidibe, chaired a Council of Ministers meeting on 1 December 2010 at the Koulouba Palace, in which a draft decree establishing the duties, composition and working procedures of the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) was adopted.

The report on the text had been prepared by the Minister for Environment and Sanitation. The National Biosafety Committee was established by Law No. 08-42 of 1 December 2008 to provide guidance and make recommendations to the National Authority responsible for biosafety and biotechnology matters in Mali. It will receive requests and applications for authorization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and derived products. Chaired by the Minister for Environment and Sanitation, the committee is composed of representatives from government departments, research institutes, farmer associations and relevant organizations from the civil society and the private sector. A draft decree laying down detailed procedures for testing of GMOs was also adopted.

 According to Dr. Mohamed N'diaye, a senior scientist at the national institute - Institut d'Economie Rurale (IER), the adoption of this draft decree provides research institutes and laboratories in the country the regulatory framework necessary for starting of experiments, trials and environmental release of GMOs in a safe and responsible way.

For more information on this and other biotechnology developments in Mali, contact Dr. Mohamed N'diayeScientific Coordinator of the Institut d'Economie Rurale, Bamako, Mali at mohamedndiaye1@yahoo.fr