Implementing National Biosafety Frameworks in the Caribbean Sub-Region Containment Management for Research and Development of GM Crops

Title

Implementing National Biosafety Frameworks in the Caribbean Sub-Region Containment Management for Research and Development of GM Crops

Subject

GMO's in Caribbean

Description

For research creating and investigating GMOs, containment targets both the prevention/ limitation
of dispersal and impact of biological material outside of the contained facility as well as
the protection of staff working in the facility. In spite of differences in regulatory approaches,
most countries require organisations to identify their contained use activities, to conduct a
risk assessment and to implement appropriate risk management measures. This also involves
the assignment of responsibilities in the process and sometimes obtaining permits. When
performing the risk assessment, both the known hazards (e.g. when dealing with a pathogen
or pest) and uncertainty (e.g. when working with GM plants in the early stages of development)
must be considered. Following the identification of possible hazards and potential risk
mechanisms, control measures can be identified that prevent potential negative impacts. On
this basis, a biosafety level (or category) is assigned which provides a combination of administrative
controls, work practices and procedures, equipment, and facility elements required to
achieve a designated degree of containment. Containment measures can be fine-tuned due
to the availability of different options. Understanding how plant breeding and plant pathogen
projects with non-GMOs are safely conducted provides valuable insight. Risk assessments of
GM crop activities in glasshouses indicate that these projects can be safely conducted in the
lowest level of containment. This can also include screenhouses for the development stages
of some crops and plants. Activities involving GM microorganisms, pathogens and/or pests
require a wider range - and usually a higher biosafety level - of containment measures. Nevertheless,
the same approach of risk assessment-based identification of appropriate measures
can be applied. This should enable scientists and regulators to ensure that early phases of
GMO research can be conducted in a safe way without facing a disproportionate management
burden.

Creator

Regional Project for Implementing National Biosafety Frameworks in the Caribbean Sub-region

Contributor

UWI, ICGEB, UNEP, GEF

Format

PDF

Language

English

Files

Tags

Citation

Regional Project for Implementing National Biosafety Frameworks in the Caribbean Sub-region, “Implementing National Biosafety Frameworks in the Caribbean Sub-Region Containment Management for Research and Development of GM Crops,” Biodiversity Conference Virtual Kiosk, accessed November 23, 2020, http://virtual-kiosk.cbd.int/items/show/9.