Sunday, 04 December 2022

Consultation forum on gene editing

Consultation forum on gene editing to align with national regulations by assessing global experience and incorporation of socio-economic issues on deliberate release of GMOs has held.
28 Sept, 2022.
Addis Ababa
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The convention on biological diversity (CBD) was finalized and opened for signature at the United Nations conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June, 1992 and it has entered into force on 29 Dec. 1993.
CBD is the main international instrument for addressing biodiversity issues. It provides a comprehensive and holistic approach to the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of natural resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits deriving from the use of genetic resources.
Since Ethiopia has ratified the Cartagena protocol on biosafety and it has amended applicable biosafety proclamation No. 896/2015 (revised in proclamation No. 655/2009) that enabled the enhancement and access to the products of modern biotechnologies to enhance Agricultural productivity and supply of raw materials for our growing industries.
Also for the active implementation of the laws on biosafety, Ethiopia has established a directorate responsble to monitor the GMOs and biosafety issues, a National Biosafety Advisory Committee /NBAC/ that are mandated to advise the authority on its biosafety regulation decisions and Institutional Biosafety Commitee /IBC/ to review any application of GMOs at institution level.
Spoken in the workshop, having functional biosafety regulation framework would support safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms in relation to conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity through taking into consideration of the risks to human health and environmental wellbeing.
According to sources, Ehiopia has so far reviewed confined and contained use application for different crop varieties and approved special permit. After an indepth review of applications for environmental clearance for Bt-Cotton and WEMA MAIZE, the authority has approved commercialization of Bt- Cotton and provided environmental clearance for WEMA- MAIZE in Ethiopia.
In his opening remarks to the forum, Mr. Negusu Lema, director general of Climate Change and Biodivercity at EPA, addressed the audience that "during the upcoming three days intensive consultation, participates are expected to come up with an informative document on socio-economic issue incorporation on the deliberate release of GMOs for decision makers and a draft genome editing guideline that will help to fill the gap on the biosafety legal framework of the country."
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