Department of Science and Technology: Role in the administration, utilization

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Department of Science and Technology: Role in the administration, utilization and management of GM food. Ben Durham Chief Director Biotechnology and Health Innovation. National Biotechnology Strategy (2001) Responsible Biotechnology PlantBio / BRICs as agents
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Department of Science and Technology: Role in the administration, utilization and management of GM food Ben Durham Chief Director Biotechnology and Health Innovation National Biotechnology Strategy (2001) Responsible Biotechnology PlantBio / BRICs as agents Public Understanding of Biotechnology programme Biosafety SA platform. Currently developing a Bio-economy Strategy for South Africa: Agriculture, Health, Industry sectors, where DST will be building innovation competencies in the Innovation system, supporting strategic science programmes, and coordinating innovation actors across the NSI. Background Department of Science and Technology: Role in the administration, utilization and management of GM food
  • 1) Administration
  • Part of the regulatory decision-making system of the GMO Act.
  • (Vice Chair: Executive Council of the GMO Act)
  • DST provides input based particularly on:
  • National Biotechnology Strategy (2001)
  • Biosafety & biotechnology capacities and competencies
  • Socio-economic considerations related to GMO introductions
  • Department of Science and Technology: Role in the administration, utilization and management of GM food
  • 2) Utilisation
  • Formed part of the Task Team appointed by the Consumer Protection Act Commissioner to determine guidelines for GMO labeling.
  • (Labels promote awareness, but GMO labeling approach needs to be carefully introduced & regulated to ensure appropriate impacts)
  • Department of Science and Technology: Role in the administration, utilization and management of GM food 3) Management (1/3) Providing expert advice:
  • Reports:
  • In-field separation strategies between GM and non-GM maize.
  • Regulatory roadmap for commercialising a GM crop in South Africa.
  • Allergenicity of Bt Maize unlikely.
  • Registering a GMO facility.
  • Aquatic organisms: Risk analysis for contained-use R&D in South Africa (will be published in collaboration with the DEA).
  • Risk management of the low level presence of LMOs in commodities in South Africa (2012). Prepared for the LLP committee (DAFF, DST, DEA & DoH).
  • Guideline for the ex-ante socio-economic impact assessment of genetically modified organisms in South Africa (to be finalised).
  • Department of Science and Technology: Role in the administration, utilization and management of GM food 3) Management (2/3) Providing expert advice:
  • (b) Training and capacities:
  • First SA-accredited Biosafety Risk Assessment course designed and offered (November 2013 in Potchefstroom)
  • Biosafety SA organised national biosafety workshops in collaboration with the ICGEB (2008) and DAFF (as part of a SA/Argentina bilateral agreement, 2010).
  • Assisted with developed of: Guidance for a fit-for-purpose regulatory framework for GMOs in Africa (2011).
  • Biosafety SA addressed the Namibian National Commission on Research, Science and Technology in Windhoek (2013) at the request of the South African regulators.
  • The 13th ISBGMO (International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms), awarded to South Africa based on a bid led by Biosafety SA. (2014).
  • Arranged a side-event at COP-MOP6 in India, 2012, entitled: “The effective regulation of GMOs in a developing country: The South African experience”
  • Department of Science and Technology: Role in the administration, utilization and management of GM food
  • 3) Management (3/3)
  • Strategic biosafety science projects:
  • Have invested R7,484,033 to date in grants for strategic biosafety research projects at North-West University, Stellenbosch University, University of Pretoria, the CSIR, etc (2009-2013).
  • Projects include:
  • Studies on effects of Bt maize on selected non-target arthropods, amphibians and annelids.
  • Effects of GM crop residues on a freshwater snail, a frog, and the evaluation of the “refuge-in-a-bag” strategy for insect resistance management.
  • The efficacy of containment methods of abalone in a contained-use GM facility
  • The Socio-Economic Consequences of Biosafety Regulation on Agricultural Trade: The Case of Maize Trade Between Zimbabwe and South Africa
  • The GMO Risk Assessment and Communication of Evidence (GRACE) project.
  • Department of Science and Technology: Role in the administration, utilization and management of GM food
  • 3) Management (4/3)
  • Public Awareness
  • Basic Biotechnology Workshops
  • Media engagement
  • Critical Thinker sessions
  • Science Communication workshops
  • Profiling PUB at HEI’s
  • Support for biotechnology at Science Centres
  • Participation in exhibitions/conferences/fora
  • Preparing for 2nd public awareness survey.
  • Department of Science and Technology: Role in the administration, utilization and management of GM food The scientific consensus around the safety of genetically modified foods is as strong as the scientific consensus around climate change. These foods are subject to more testing than any other, and everything tells us that they're safe. www.axismundionline.com Thank you [email protected]/* */
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