BIOSAFETY CONCERNS IN THE CONTEXT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY ...

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Dec 6, 2012 (4 years and 11 months ago)

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BIOSAFETY CONCERNS IN THE
CONTEXT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY.



Presentation for Training Workshop for Regional Advisors

Bangkok, Thailand

15
-
27 May 2006.

STARTING POINT


Conference on the Environment and
Development



Convention on Biological Diversity



Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

WHAT IS
BIOTECHNOLOGY?

Processing of substances by biological agents to
produce goods and services.




Biological agents: mainly microbes, animal and plant cells and
enzymes.



Substances: renewable materials as well as those produced
by microbes.



Goods and services: food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, etc.

EARLY
BIOTECHNOLOGY


Exploited microbes capable of producing
useful substances by fermentation




Gave rise to industries associated with
manufacture of wine, cheese, etc.

FIRST WAVE OF
BIOTECHNOLOGY


Fermentation process deciphered and manipulated
to produce useful substances




Substances include industrial chemicals: acetone,
glycerol, citric acid, etc.




Production of industrial chemicals represents first
wave of biotechnology




SECOND WAVE OF
BIOTECHNOLOGY


Production of antibiotics (also
fermentation products) ushered in the
second wave of biotechnology




Use of antibiotics became the
cornerstone of infectious disease control

THIRD WAVE OF
BIOTECHNOLOGY


Brought about by the advent of genetic
engineering



Made possible by discovery of DNA
-
modifying
enzymes



Basis of genetic engineering is gene transfer, gene
alteration and gene regulation



Gave rise to GMOs, LMOs or transgenic organisms

DRIVERS OF
BIOTECHNOLOGY


Fermentation technology



Plant and animal cell culture



Enzyme technology



Genetic engineering

REVIEW: BIOSAFETY
PROTOCOL


Concerns about potential negative impact
of development on the environment




Concerns about GMOs (LMOs)




UN System for managing trade in GMOs

WHAT ARE THESE
CONCERNS?


Environmental concerns




Animal and public health
concerns

ROOT OF CONCERNS


New technology



Status of knowledge on effects



Complexity of GMOs and their products



Uniqueness of each GMO

ENVIRONMENTAL
CONCERNS


Spreading of transgenes by GMOs to
closely related domesticated or wild
relatives



Spreading and invasion into natural
ecosystems by GMOs



Spreading of transgenes from GMOs to
unrelated species



ENVIRONMENTAL
CONCERNS


Development of herbicide
-
resistant
weeds



Development of insecticide
-
resistant
pests



Damage to non
-
target organisms
interacting with GMOs

Spreading of GMO
transgenes to relatives


GMOs targeted



Possible effects on biodiversity



Potential contamination of conventional
crops by GMOs



Potential for development of herbicide
-
resistant weeds

Transgene spread to
unrelated species


Spreading of transgenes by plants to
microbes with potential implications for:



Infectious diseases controlled by antibiotics



Potential for resistance to antibiotics



Increases in the number of antibiotic resistance
genes


Potential for development of
insecticide
-
resistant pests of plant
crops



Transgene effects on
non
-
target species


GMOs targeted



Potential for toxicants



Potential effects on non
-
targets and biodiversity

ANIMAL AND PUBLIC
HEALTH CONCERNS

Effects of DNA, food and feed
derived from GMOs



Possible pathological effects





ANIMAL AND PUBLIC
HEALTH CONCERNS

Differences between transgene
sequences in notification and in
actual insert



Rearrangements of transgene in genome



Appropriateness of risk assessment data
based on notifications

ANIMAL AND PUBLIC
HEALTH CONCERNS

Persistence and uptake of foreign
DNA and protein in gut of mammals



DNA and protein escaping digestion



DNA fragments
[ for example the
cry1(A) gene]
shed in faeces and
incorporated in manure

ANIMAL AND PUBLIC
HEALTH

Transgenic or altered proteins



Difficulty in predicting plant gene
expression due to environmental control,
insertion sites and stability of inserts



Possibility of producing allergens,
toxicants, biologically active
compounds, etc


ANIMAL AND PUBLIC
HEALTH

Production of chemicals and
pharmaceuticals by plants


Potential for producing harmful
substances


Plant species selected


Unintended mixture of GMO crops and
conventional ones

RESPONSE
ADVOCATED

Proactive action encouraged
before
GMOs are placed on the
market



Case by case risk assessment



Notification procedures
( for example,
the Advanced Informed Agreement)



BIOSAFETY AND THE
BCH

The BCH is the Information System of the
Biosafety Protocol and caters for biosafety as
follows:


Source of information on biosafety laws


Contact information on administrators of biosafety
regime


Source of information on GMOs ( types, uses, risk
assessment, risk management, decisions taken, etc ).


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