This includes “activity with genetically modified organisms but it is not limited to the importation, exportation, transit, development, production, release, distribution, use, storage and application of genetically modified organisms only.”However, a permit is not required for organisms under conditions of contained use at containment level 1 or 2 in a registered facility. Inspector General | A number of national and international regulations govern the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in South Africa. The primary legislation in South Africa dealing with GMOs, including their contained use, trial release, commercial release, and import and export is the Genetically Modified Organisms Act of 1997 (GMO Act) and its subsidiary legislation. § 2. Canada regulates products derived from biotechnology processes as part of its existing regulatory framework for “novel products.” The focus is on the traits expressed in the products and not on the method used to introduce those traits. Activities involving GMOs are for research purposes in laboratories or field trials, and are tightly regulated, in particular through EU Directives made applicable in the Netherlands. In fact, as reflected by GMO legislation in Italy, Italian public opinion has shifted from a decidedly general opposition to the introduction of GMOs into a more recent open acceptance of them. Mexico’s Federal Criminal Code provides that an individual who, in contravention of applicable law, commercializes, transports, stores, or releases into the environment a GMO that negatively alters or may alter the components, structure, or functioning of natural ecosystems is punishable with imprisonment of one to nine years and a fine. 36124 (Feb. 8, 2013), http://www.info.gov.za/view/183647 (hereinafter collectively referred to as GMO Regulations, as amended). 467 (Apr. The Animal Feed Manufacturers Association of South Africa (AFMA), is the official industry representative body of the South African feed industry in the livestock feed sector and larger agricultural environment. Germany imposes strict liability for accidental contamination with GMOs, and has tough and methodically enforced controls over the release of GMOs. More specifically, the Act made sure that bio-safety evaluations be executed for any GMO activity. Proposed Regulation Relating to the Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or Food Containing Genetically Modified (GM) Ingredients. Donate As the official representative body for the sector, AFMA positions and aligns itself by identifying the business environment that will benefit its members. Labeling can be mandatory up to a threshold GM content level (which varies between countries) or voluntary. ), The task of ensuring food safety in South Africa is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health (DoH), specifically the Food Control Section.  NEMBA § 78. The European Union (EU) has in place a comprehensive and strict legal regime for GMOs, food and feed made from GMOs, and food/feed consisting or containing GMOs. Germany discourages the cultivation of GM crops to the extent possible within the already stringent European Union legislation on GMOs. Most of Belgium’s regulation of GMOs is directly or indirectly derived from European regulations.  In addition, users are subject to liability for damage caused by GMO-related activity, unless the GMO was in the possession of an inspector and the user could not have foreseen or prevented the damage. There are several EU-approved GMOs that are specifically illegal in Norway. At an African Agriculture Conference in 2012, 24 African countries agreed to allow the use of genetically modified crops. GMOs are regulated in Argentina under the Law on Seeds and Phytogenetic Creations and the Law on the Promotion of the Development and Production of Modern Biotechnology, and under administrative regulations issued by the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food. Genetically Modified Organisms in Food focuses on scientific evaluation of published research relating to GMO food products to assert their safety as well as potential health risks. The Italian Constitutional Court has ruled that the national government is constrained from encroaching on the power of regional governments to establish their own regimes on GMOs. Advertising or labeling the presence of GMOs in particular food is voluntary unless there is a health or safety concern.  If the EC approves an application, it must include all applicable terms and conditions that the Registrar may then attach to a permit. .”, A different law imposes additional, specific labeling requirements. Egyptian activists have voiced their rejection of this policy. The production and sale of certain GMOs are legal in France, but are subject to very restrictive rules. Inspector General | at 113; About Us, Biowatch South Africa, http://www.biowatch.org.za/main.asp?include=about/about.html (last visited Oct. 30, 2013). To date, legislation specifically regulating the labeling of GMO components in food does not appear to have been passed. The GMO Act imposes civil liability on people who conduct GMO-related activities for damage they cause and criminalizes various acts, including violations of its provisions or refusing to cooperate with the regulatory bodies. Press | Argentina has not ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.  This includes “activity with genetically modified organisms but it is not limited to the importation, exportation, transit, development, production, release, distribution, use, storage and application of genetically modified organisms only.” However, a permit is not required for organisms under conditions of contained use at containment level 1 or 2 in a registered facility.  Trustees, Biowatch v. Registrar: Genetic Resources, and Others, at 119–26. 34020 (Feb. 18, 2011), http://www.info.gov.za /view/142060; Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997, Regulations Amendments, 2011, GN No. As a consequence, some regions have enacted slightly more permissive regimes than others. Over this period of time, hundreds of articles and reports have been published by academic journals, government regulatory agencies, and national science organizations on the safety aspects of biotechnology and GM crops. Dr. Hennie Groenewald, executive manager at Biosafety South Africa, which is a national biosafety service platform within the nation’s technology innovation agency, said the country immediately knew what to do when the first genetically modified (GM) crop … .” The application of the GMO Act is limited to, As noted above, the GMO Act established three regulatory bodies with specific functions: the EC, the Registrar, and the AC. 68 of 2008, § 24, 526 GG No. Such activities must be approved by the Environmental Protection Authority, which is required to take into account environmental, economic, social, cultural, and public health considerations. advising the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on GMO-related activities and monitoring these activities to ensure that they follow the rules and procedures set under the GMO Act; determining whether an applicant should submit an environmental assessment report; and. An applicant who seeks to undertake a general or commodity release must publish a notice in at least three national newspapers; a proposed trial release requires publication of a notice in at least two local newspapers and one national newspaper. , The Registrar is appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in consultation with the EC. The Act also requires the registration of all facilities where GMO-related activities take place. . Cultivation of transgenic plants for commercial use is not allowed in the Russian Federation. Finally, it provides for the punishment of administrative violations and criminal offenses. Argentina is the third largest grower of biotech crops in the world, after the United States and Brazil. Typically, the GMO events that have been commercialized in South Africa have therefore been subjected to the regulatory requirements and scrutiny of various other countries as well. It makes it an offense for anyone to “alter, obscure, falsify, remove or omit .  As part of its functions, this section oversees the administration of food legislation, which includes publicizing regulations for food safety, labeling food, and evaluating risk assessments for DAFF that are related to agricultural chemicals and food produced through biotechnology. [ii] The GMO Act created a forum for cultivators, farmers …  Food Control, Department of Health, http://www.doh.gov.za/healthtopics .php?t=FoodControl (click on “Food Control” under “Health Topics”) (last visited Oct. 30, 2013). Criminal and civil penalties may be applied in relation to breaches of the legislation, and offenders may be ordered to mitigate or remedy any adverse effect on people or the environment. 68 of 2008, § 110, 526 GG No. The assessment should take into account current national, regional, and international risk-assessment methods. , The AC is a national advisory body on all matters having to do with GMO-related activities, including the introduction of GMOs into the environment, contained use, transboundary movement, and drafting of GMO-related laws and guidelines. Jobs | They are attached to the Convention on Biological Diversity of 1993. In South Africa, the regulations governing the labelling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is outlined in Section 24 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (No 68 of 2008) , which was signed into law on 24 April 2009 and came into effect on 31 March 2011 . labeling . GMOs are not legal in all countries around the world.  Id., Submission by African Centre for Biosafety; GMO Act § 17. The general attitude in England is averse to GM products; however, a slight shift in attitude towards GM products has recently been reported, and the UK government’s policy indicates a more receptive attitude towards these products. Legal | If the EC deems it fit to do so, an applicant for a permit for a GMO-related activity may also be required to conduct an environmental risk assessment. Foreign Law Specialist*
, The GMO Act, which is administered by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), and three institutions established under its provisions (the Registrar, the Executive Council (EC), and the Advisory Council (AC)), has a number of objectives. a copy of public notices as required under the GMO Regulations; and.  In effect, a GMO would not be approved for any form of release if “safety to the environment cannot be demonstrated.”, The law also imposes a public notification requirement for the release of GMOs. French legislation supplements the broader framework of European regulation with national rules that provide additional restrictions, particularly focused on the potential release of GMOs in the environment, and on labeling requirements for GM products. GMOs are regulated in Argentina under the Law on Seeds and Phytogenetic Creations and the Law on the Promotion of the Development and Production of Modern Biotechnology, and under administrative regulations issued by the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for regulating GM plants and approving GM feed for animals.