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Network of Laboratories for LMO Detection & Identification


At its fifth meeting, in decision BS-V/9, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (COP-MOP) mandated a number of activities for laboratories involved in the detection and identification of living modified organisms (LMOs). Specifically, the COP-MOP requested the establishment, through the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH), of an electronic network of laboratories involved in the detection and identification of LMOs and the organization of workshops for heads of detection laboratories. The COP-MOP also requested Parties and encouraged other Governments and relevant organizations to make available to the BCH, inter alia, methods for the detection and identification of LMOs.

In decision BS-V/16, the COP-MOP adopted the Strategic Plan for implementation of the Protocol for the period 2011-2020. Among the outcomes set out by the Strategic Plan, the following are relevant to LMO detection and identification:

(i) Easy to use and reliable technical tools for the detection of unauthorized LMOs are developed and made available (under Focal Area 1, Operational Objective 1.6);

(ii) Guidance developed to assist Parties to detect and take measures to respond to unintentional releases of living modified organisms (under Focal Area 1, Operational Objective 1.8); and

(iii) Personnel are trained and equipped for sampling, detection and identification of LMOs (under Focal Area 2, Operational Objective 2.3).

At its sixth meeting, in decision BS-VI/3 on Capacity-Building, the COP-MOP adopted a framework and action plan aimed at advancing the implementation of the capacity-building components of the Strategic Plan. The indicators, results and activities linked to outcome (iii) above as adopted in the capacity-building action plan are available in the annex to the decision.

In response to the requests of the COP-MOP regarding the detection and identification of LMOs, the Secretariat organized a series of discussions under the Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs . Further to the online discussions and following a generous financial contribution from the Government of Japan, the “Workshop of the Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of Living Modified Organisms” was held at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), Institute for Health and Consumer Protection in Ispra, Italy, from 25 to 27 November 2013.

The objectives of the Network are to:

(i) develop a strategy to address Parties’ needs regarding detection and identification of LMOs to be presented as a set of recommendations for consideration of the COP-MOP at its seventh meeting; and

(ii) compile laboratory methods for the detection of LMOs, in particular those unauthorized or unintentionally released into the environment for publication in the Biosafety Technical Series.

What is the forum?

This is a virtual platform where experts can interact and exchange experiences on the use and development of LMO sampling and detection techniques. The online forum is part of a continuous process established in decisions BS-III/10, BS-IV/9and BS-V/9.

Who can participate

As per notification SCBD/BS/CG/KG/jh/77120 an invitation for the nomination of LMO detection laboratories to the Electronic Network of Laboratories for LMO detection and identification was issued in August 2011 (Also available in French and Spanish.)

Nominations are accepted on an ongoing basis:

To find out whether or not your organisation is registered with the BCH please search our records for Organizations involved in Biosafety Activities.

For more information, please contact the Secretariat.

Update on 2013-12-10
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