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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2012-05-16 15:51 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-05-16 15:51 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)

General Information
Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms in the Latin American and the Caribbean Region: Main Needs and Opportunities for Strategic Capacity Building
Marianela Araya-Quesada; Wendy Craig and Decio Ripandelli
Author’s contact information
Marianela Araya-Quesada
Biosafety Unit, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and
Biotechnology (ICGEB), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Email: araya@icgeb.org

Wendy Craig and Decio Ripandelli
Biosafety Unit, ICGEB, Trieste, Italy

Email: craig@icgeb.org; decio@icgeb.org
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

Biotechnology has the potential to help improve food production in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), a continent where agriculture plays a dominant role in peoples' lives and in trade. It is therefore critical that recombinant DNA (rDNA) biotechnology is regulated in such a manner as to capture its benefits and to minimize any potential risks. In order to best understand biosafety needs in LAC, an email-based stakeholder consultation was carried out, augmented by personal communications with well-informed respondents, and integrated into a desktop study incorporating information from recent peer-reviewed literature. The resultant qualitative study tracked developments in rDNA biotechnology and biosafety in the region and reviewed regulatory capacity as well as the legacies of previous capacity-building projects in these areas to culminate in a snapshot of the present situation. It demonstrated that approximately half of the 31 countries represented in the study are not carrying out any domestic research and development on genetically modified organisms (GMOs); furthermore, the majority have not developed GM products beyond the proof-of-concept stage. Only 58% of the study countries appear to have operational biosafety regulatory systems in place.  cknowledging that methods of delivering capacity building should be tailored to specific demand-driven needs, the study identified possible knowledge and expertise gaps in the region, to be used as a basis for possible training and/or support interventions.
Thematic areas
  • Capacity building
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
Publisher and its location
AgBioForum - the Journal of Agrobiotechnolgy Management & Economics, Columbia MO, USA
©2012 AgBioForum
12 page PDF file
AgBioForum - the Journal of Agrobiotechnolgy Management & Economics
Keywords and any other relevant information
Key words: biosafety, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), capacity building, research and development (R&D), Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

Suggested citation:

Araya-Quesada, M., Craig, W., & Ripandelli, D. (2012). Biosafety of genetically modified organisms in the Latin American and the Caribbean region: Main needs and opportunities for strategic capacity building. AgBioForum, 15(1), 77-88. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.agbioforum.org.