Welcome to the discussion group on “Possible gaps – general”. You are invited to submit your responses to the guiding questions above, to post additional questions you may have and to respond to the comments of others.
In a document prepared for the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (document UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/3/8/Add.2 at para. 58), the Secretariat identified how the current system of relevant standards does not necessarily provide comprehensive coverage of the scope of Article 18 of the Protocol. For example:
- Few of the rules deal with the range of LMOs covered by Article 18. For example, many of the rules and standards focus on requirements for pathogens or dangerous organisms. As a result, many types of genetically modified plants, for example, may well not be covered by any standards;
- The stated purpose of most of the existing rules and standards is to protect human, animal or plant health, not biodiversity per se;
- Many of the labelling requirements deal with food products (largely outside the scope of the Protocol), not living organisms.
Participants may wish to offer their own analysis of how existing standards relate to the Protocol and Article 18 in particular.
As a participant in this Online Forum on Standards for LMO Shipments, your contribution is very important in making the Forum a success by generating substantive information that can help Parties take an appropriate decision on the matter at their next meeting in October 2010.
The CBD Secretariat thanks you for your active participation. Happy discussions!
The Biosafety Team
posted on 2009-05-18 01:24 UTC by Kathryn Garforth, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
I am Fahimdokht Mokhtari, from Institute of Standards and Industrial Researches of Iran (ISIRI). In my opinion there is still a great gap in standardization for LMO shipment and handling. According to the published documents there are many different regulations released by relevant organizations which cover GMOs or LMOs, subsequently some confusing may be created by these regulations. The scopes of all of these regulations cover LMOs or GMOs, but none of them pointed directly to Genetically Modified Organisms.
So I suppose a working group under Article 18 could act as a coordinator for existing standards or standards to be prepared. This WG should exclusively work on LMO shipment, handling and packaging standards, including collecting the guidelines, acts or standards which can be applied in LMO shipment.
As an alternative way, this task may be transferred to the Codex Task Force of Foods Derived from Biotechnology.
The current guidelines prepared by FBT are helpful in assessing the safety of foods derived from modern biotechnology, yet there is no obligation for packaging and/or labeling of GMOs which are transported. The requirement for labeling of Genetically Modified Foods has been under discussion for several years in the Codex Committee of Labeling and no agreement has been reached yet, furthermore such an important matter will be added to the "General standard for prepackaged foods", and the gap of standards for handling and shipment of GMOs or LMOs which are not packed as a food, will be remained.
Such standards could be undertaken by Codex FBT as a particular Task Force for Genetic Engineered Foods (including LMOs).
posted on 2009-05-27 07:22 UTC by Fahimdokht Mokhtari, ISIRI