Crop Biotech Update

Challenges for an International Biotech Regulatory Framework

March 30, 2012

International agreements and standards that regulate specific aspects relevant to agricultural biotechnology provide important guidance. However, they are open to varying interpretations and implementation by countries. In particular, implementation in developing countries remains a challenge such that the actual functioning of the international regulatory framework remains in a "state of flux." This was the analysis of John Komen of the Program for Biosafety System (PBS) in an article The emerging international regulatory framework for biotechnology published in the journal GM Crops and Food.

Discussions on biosafety regulation - the policies and procedures adopted to ensure the environmentally safe application of modern biotechnology -has been extensively discussed at various national and international forums. Focus has been on developing guidelines, appropriate legal frameworks and, at the international level, a legally binding international biosafety protocol (the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety). In the article, Komen describes the main international instruments relevant to biosafety regulation, and their key provisions.

The abstract of the article is available at