Introduction

The primary goal of this webpage is to provide regulators with science-based information to facilitate their decision making on whether a given transgenic crop is as safe as what is currently on the market.

Learning from their experience in regulating transgenic crops over the last decade, regulators have made considerable progress in designing logical frameworks. Risk Assessment is a key component of these frameworks and it is designed to help characterize the potential risks associated with the utilization of transgenic crops. The Australian Government, through its Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) (2007) has suggested that Risk Assessment is a process that should deal with the questions: “1) what might happen? 2) how might it happen? 3) will it be serious if it happens? 4) how likely is it to happen? 5) what is the risk?”

The African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE) initiated by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) endeavors to facilitate the access and use of scientific knowledge to drive the regulatory decisions that will impact on Africa. The information presented in this webpage is specifically tailored to fit into a risk assessment and management framework.

This section is designed to provide the tools necessary for characterizing environmental risks and designing measures to manage them. First, an overview is presented on the impacts of current-day agriculture on the environment, and the benefits expected and observed from the utilization of transgenic crops. Major principles and methodologies used for risk assessment are then discussed. Risk management processes are also described, and key information on crop biology is presented for species of interest for Africa.

The content of this webpage section is derived from documents of international bodies such as Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Codex Alimentarius, Governmental bodies such as Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR), and peer-reviewed articles as well as from other relevant websites.

This section will not deal with safety issues associated with laboratory and greenhouses uses of GM materials. For that information, you may refer to other sources such as the US National Institute of Health (NIH, http://www.nih.gov/) or OECD (http://www.oecd.org).

Moussa Savadogo, NEPAD-ABNE
06 BP 9884 Ouagadougou 06
E-mail: moussa.savadogo@nepadbiosafety.net
Website: http://www.nepad-abne.net

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