Biotech Updates

Namibia to Implement Biosafety Regulations

August 26, 2011

Namibian authorities have decided to implement the Biosafety Act and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Thus, the Ministry of Education of Namibia conducted an inception workshop on the implementation of the Act and the Protocol.

According to David Namwandi, Deputy Minster of Education, the drafted biosafety regulations are awaiting the establishment of the National Research, Science and Technology Council. The regulations will address "pre-notice agreements, risk analysis and management, handling, transport, packing, identification, information distribution and Biosafety Clearing House (BCH), public participation, socio-economic considerations and capacity". The Cartagena Protocol implements a balanced approach with regard to the use of GMOs, particularly in its benefits and safety.

Namwandi also said that biotechnology has global impact due to its use in agricultural crops, vaccines and medicine, mining, and water applications. Thus, it is their government's responsibility to ensure safety in transfer, handling, and use of living modified organisms. He also added that Namibia needs to establish infrastructure and equip manpower along with the implementation of the biosafety requirements.

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