Africa include 5 Argentine canola, 10 cotton, 42 maize, 1 rice (for food), and 12 soybeans. Despite the higher cost of GM seeds, adoption by many farmers was quick, steady, and widespread. 467 (Apr. Overall, regulation of GMOs in Belgium is mostly focused on authorization requirements prior to their production, use, or distribution; on mandatory technical requirements to limit the potential release of GMOs into non-GMO fields; and on information and transparency measures. GMO Policies by Country describes laws in different countries allowing or banning Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Read More This country report was updated June 2014. . Inspector General | 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. Following a recent regime shift in Norway it is yet unclear whether Norway’s position on GMOs might change. As of 2012, GMO planting had expanded to the following nations: USA: Corn, soybean, … Israel’s religious kashrut authority has determined that the use of GMO ingredients in food does not affect its kosher status because GMOs are only used in “microscopic” proportions. 2012). Nevertheless, opposition and skepticism persists among various groups, including rights groups, trade unions, and religious organizations. 293, § 7, GN No. Most South Africans, without their knowledge or consent, are unknowingly consuming genetically modified food products every single day.  A person who impersonates any officer appointed under the GMO Act also commits a crime. About | , Matters pertaining to cost were litigated further on appeal and settled by the Constitutional Court. The statistics for the 2011–12 maize production season illustrate the scale of GMO penetration in the country. 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.  Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Trends in the Agricultural Sector – 2012 at 11 (2013), http://www.nda.agric.za/docs/statsinfo/Trends2012.pdf.  The study found that eighty percent of those surveyed had limited understanding of biotechnology, and more than two-thirds had never heard of GMOs before.  The application for registration must include the name of the person taking responsibility for the facility; a map of the facility showing the different units within the facility; a locality map that includes geographic coordinates; a science-based risk assessment of the activity within the facility; and the proposed risk-management mechanism, measures, and strategies. Germany discourages the cultivation of GM crops to the extent possible within the already stringent European Union legislation on GMOs. , If there is an accident involving unintentional environmental release or transboundary movement of GMOs, the user must notify the Registrar both verbally and in writing by providing relevant information, including the estimated quantities, date of the release, and possible adverse effect on the environment and on human and animal health and safety. [i] The Act was aimed at regulating all South Africa’s genetically modified activities. March 2014. The primary legislation in South Africa dealing with genetically modified organisms (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. Germany imposes strict liability for accidental contamination with GMOs, and has tough and methodically enforced controls over the release of GMOs. 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. The use of GMOs in food is a sensitive topic that generates strong public opinion. , 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. The Genetically Modified Act 15 of 1997 was implemented by the Department of Agriculture on 1 December 1999. In general, the EU espouses the principle that the polluter pays. . The Department of Health, specifically the Food Control Section, tasked with the responsibility to ensure food safety in the country, has issued regulations requiring that foodstuffs obtained through certain genetic modification techniques be labeled as such before being offered for sale in the marketplace. Currently, eighteen GM food lines and fourteen GM feed lines are approved and registered in Russia. A person commits an offense if he contravenes any of the GMO Act’s provisions or any condition, restriction, ban, or instruction imposed under its provisions.  National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act No.  A conviction for any of these crimes is punishable by a fine or up to two years imprisonment; a second or subsequent conviction may result in up to four years imprisonment. In China, restrictions on GMOs are primarily provided by the agricultural GMO regulations enacted by the State Council in 2001 and relevant administrative rules. § 2. GMO use is limited and almost exclusively used in animal fodder products. Japan enacted the Cartagena Act in 2003 to implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Jobs | 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 growth and sale of GMOs are permitted in England and Wales, subject to an intensive authorization process that occurs primarily at the European Union level.  A person also commits a crime if he refuses to cooperate with or provides false or misleading information to an inspector, the Registrar, the EC, or the AC.  Biowatch Trust v Registrar Genetic Resources and Others 2009 (6) SA 232 (CC), available at http://www.saflii .org/za/cases/ZACC/2009/14.pdf. The testing, production, and marketing of GMOs in China are subject to government approval. The EC reviews all GE applications submitted in terms of the “GMO” Act and uses a case-by-case and precautionary approach to ensure sound decision-making in the At a Glance. 10 of 2004 [NEMBA], 20 BSRSA (rev’d through 2012). Sellers of GM food must follow labeling requirements.  Among the Registrar’s functions are, The Registrar is required by law to keep a register of all facilities used for the contained use of GMOs, all trial release sites, and the names and addresses of all users (individuals involved in GMO-related activities). As Norway is only part of the European Economic Area and not a full European Union Member it is not bound by EU Directives but generally implements EU Directives nonetheless. The GMO Law provides that violations of its provisions or its regulations are punishable with civil penalties. No general conservation strategy By 2009, 98 percent of c…  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. 25908 (Feb. 26, 2010), http://www.doh.gov.za/docs/foodcontrol/advertising/2004/fcr25.pdf. . In 2006, during the public hearings it conducted on the GMO Amendment Bill, the Agriculture and Land Affairs Portfolio Committee of South Africa’s Parliament received over ten submissions from a range of pro- and anti-GMO activists, including farmers unions, nongovernmental organizations, governmental agencies, and academics.  Similarly, one of the farmers unions called for the introduction of labeling requirements for foods containing GMOs. The GMO Act and applicable implementing regulations and biosafety framework govern the regulation of biotech crops in South Africa. The EU’s legislation and policy on GMOs is designed to prevent any adverse effects on the environment and the health and safety of humans and animals, and it reflects concerns expressed by skeptical consumers, farmers, and environmentalists. , In 2005, questions regarding access to information on GMO-related activities were litigated in court. These differences have created sharp trade conflicts for some nations, while also opening up export opportunities for others that favor GMO technologies.  GMO Act § 19; GMO Regulations § 11, as amended.  It consists of up to ten members appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, eight of whom must be knowledgeable in the field of science applicable to GMO-related activities. Even though more and more research on GMOs is being performed, people are still concerned. While marketing and importing GMOs and food and feed produced with GMOs are regulated at the EU level, the cultivation of GMOs is an area left to the EU Members. The importation, development, testing, and release of GMOs are strictly regulated in New Zealand. Egypt takes a permissive approach to GMOs, and its public policy does not oppose growing, importing, and exporting genetically modified crops.  However, the Court held that Biowatch was entitled to access some information and that the Registrar’s refusal to grant access to such information violated Biowatch’s constitutional rights. The second section has materials discussing the issue in particular jurisdictions and is divided into sections on Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. External Link Disclaimer | 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 . , Hanibal Goitom
Importing, cultivating, researching, and developing GMOs are permitted, as long as applicable procedures are observed. As the official representative body for the sector, AFMA positions and aligns itself by identifying the business environment that will benefit its members.  Legislation, DAFF, http://www.daff.gov.za/# (click on “Agricultural Production, Health & Food Safety Branch,” then “Biosafety,” then “Legislation”) (last visited Oct. 30, 2013); GMO Act, Preamble.  In addition, inspectors have the power to conduct routine, unannounced, and warrantless inspections of facilities registered for conducting GMO-related activities, and take samples of GMOs. One of these members must be knowledgeable on ecological matters and GMOs, while the other must be well versed on the effects of GMOs on human and animal health.  When damage occurs, users are responsible for cleanup costs. § 2. 1, 2011), http://www.info.gov.za/ view/DynamicAction?pageid=623&myID=292342. 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. This includes research and development, import/export, production, consumption and other uses of … Ethiopia has also revised its biosafety laws and …  Trustees, Biowatch v. Registrar: Genetic Resources, and Others, at 119–26. RELATED: GMOs in South Africa: Facts at a Glance The first GM crops, yellow maize hybrids from Monsanto, were introduced in 1997. 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. They are required to take a number of actions, including ceasing the act causing the damage, containing/minimizing the spread of the GMOs, eliminating the source of the damage, and remedying the damage caused. 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.  In addition, a violation under the Consumer Protection Act may result in a civil action and/or administrative fines. Foreign companies that export GMOs to the PRC, including GMOs as raw materials, must apply to the Ministry of Agriculture and obtain GMO Safety Certificates. The first section contains discussions of aspects of the topic in general and in international law. 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.  The Registrar is also required to arrange for inspection of facilities where GMO-related activities take place and order the cessation of an activity that he or she has established or reasonably suspects is in violation of the GMO Act or a condition set under a permit. GMOs in food, drugs, and biological products are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Public Health Service Act. Nevertheless, Japan is one of largest importers of GMO foods, though labeling is required if GM crops are used in food in certain cases. Genetically modified crops are currently grown in 29 nations around the world, while dozens ban farmers from planting GMO crops. 17, 2007) is available on the South Africa government portal, at http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=67850. Apply for a permit at the Registrar of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).  The steps of the assessment should include the following: Once an application is submitted, the EC may approve the application, reject it, or request that the applicant provide additional information; the EC must provide reasons for every decision. The aim of these regulations is to ensure that any activity with GMOs is assessed for potential risks to human health and the environment prior to undertaking any such activity. 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 country also has no restrictions on releasing genetically modified organisms into the environment. 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