" ITREALMS: Global biotech knowledge base puts safety first - ITREALMS

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Global biotech knowledge base puts safety first - ITREALMS

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From disease-resistant crops to innovative medical treatments, biotechnology has huge potential to help overcome some of our leading global problems.
Global biotech knowledge base puts safety first - ITREALMS
But like many new technologies, Living Modified Organisms (LMOs - also known as genetically modified organisms, or GMOs) also come with the potential for negative impacts on both human health and the environment.

Biosafety is the practice of safely managing modern biotechnology in order to avoid these potential adverse effects, while recognizing its great potential for the promotion of human well-being.

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is the leading international agreement on biosafety, aiming to ensure the safe handling, transport and use of LMOs and govern their movement from one country to another.

A key feature of the Cartagena Protocol has been the establishment of a Biosafety Clearing House to enable the exchange of information on LMOs and ensure that countries have access to the information they need to make science-based decisions before agreeing to the use, transit, import or export of LMOs.

With the support of the Global Environment Facility, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has played a key role in the development and rollout of the Biosafety Clearing House, helping over 130 countries to effectively participate in the system and make informed decisions regarding the import, export or release of modified organisms.

Belarus has championed these efforts. The Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the National Academy of Science of Belarus has been working with UNEP's experts to build national awareness on biosafety, generate information on LMOs in Belarus, and publish it to the Biosafety Clearing House under the Sustainable Capacity-Building for Effective Participation in the BCH project.

Here, Dr. Galina Mozgova, BCH National Focal Point of Belarus shares how the project has helped Belarus meet its obligations to the Cartagena Protocol and develop a growing national knowledge base to inform its biosafety policy and practice:

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