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. 68 of 2008, § 24, 526 GG No. [72] Trustees, Biowatch v. Registrar: Genetic Resources, and Others 2005 (4) SA 111 (T), available on the Southern Africa Legal Information Institute (SAFLII) website, at http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAGPHC/2005/135.html. One GM potato for industrial use has been approved for cultivation in Sweden, but currently no GMOs are being produced. He or she is in charge of administering the GMO Act and exercises the powers delegated and duties assigned to the position by the GMO Act or the EC. 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. Most of Belgium’s regulation of GMOs is directly or indirectly derived from European regulations. [54]  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. They are attached to the Convention on Biological Diversity of 1993. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for regulating GM plants and approving GM feed for animals. Labeling of GMO products in the marketplace is required in 64 countries. Liability issues and compensation schemes for individuals fall primarily within the domain of the EU Member States. External Link Disclaimer | Even though more and more research on GMOs is being performed, people are still concerned. South Africa permits the production of genetically modified crops through the Genetically Modified Organisms Act of 1997 (Click here to download the Act). The GMO Act authorizes the inspectors to investigate and, among other things, seek and obtain warrants to search for and seize various items, including GMOs and documents, whenever the inspectors have reason to believe that the GMO Act has been violated. [67]  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. 2. 25908 (Feb. 26, 2010), http://www.doh.gov.za/docs/foodcontrol/advertising/2004/fcr25.pdf. [18] Id. Despite the higher cost of GM seeds, adoption by many farmers was quick, steady, and widespread. 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. This bibliography lists selected, recent English-language works on restrictions on GMOs. 35007 (Feb. 10, 2012), http://www.info.gov.za/view/159582; Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997, Regulations Amendments, 2011, GN No. [68], The Consumer Protection Act, which imposes labeling requirements on food items containing a certain level of GMOs, also criminalizes certain acts. 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. Donate [8] Consumer Protection Act No. Most South Africans, without their knowledge or consent, are unknowingly consuming genetically modified food products every single day. 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 To date, legislation specifically regulating the labeling of GMO components in food does not appear to have been passed. Nevertheless, Japan is one of largest importers of GMO foods, though labeling is required if GM crops are used in food in certain cases. [30]  It is also mandated to liaise with international bodies concerned with biosafety through relevant national departments. [1] Rosemary A. Wolson, Assessing the Prospects for the Adoption of Biofortified Crops in South Africa, 10(3) AgBioForum 184 (2007), available at https://mospace.umsystem.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10355/57/ Biofortified %20Crops%20in%20South%20Africa.pdf?sequence=1. [45] Department of Agriculture, Application for Intentional Introduction (Conduct a Trial Release) of a Genetically Modified Organism into the Environment of South Africa, http://www.services.gov.za /services/webdav/Documents /Agriculture/trial_release.pdf (last visited Oct. 30, 2013). [14] PMG, Genetically Modified Organisms Amendments Bill: Hearings, Submission by Kwangwanase Farmers Union, supra note 12. 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. [52]  One of the functions of this institution is to “monitor and report regularly” to the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs on the effects of any released GMO, including the impact on “non-target organisms and ecological processes, indigenous biological resources and biological diversity of species used for agriculture.”[53]  (For information on cleanup costs and liability when damage occurs, see the Liability Regime section below. In general, the EU espouses the principle that the polluter pays. The application of the GMO Act allows South Africa to conduct a science-based case-by-case assessment of the potential risks that may arise from the use of a particular GMO. 12, 2010), http://www.info.gov.za/view/123130; Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997, Regulations Amendments, 2011, GN No. 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. A GMO-related activity may not be conducted in South Africa without a permit. Although Lebanon ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994 and the Cartagena Protocol in 2008, it has not yet adopted policies dealing with GMOs. Egypt takes a permissive approach to GMOs, and its public policy does not oppose growing, importing, and exporting genetically modified crops. It makes it an offense for anyone to “alter, obscure, falsify, remove or omit . [3], South Africa has a fairly vigorous regulatory regime governing various aspects of GMO use, including contained use, trial release, commercial release, and transboundary movement. [26]  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. [5] Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997, Regulations, 2010, Government Notices [GN] No. ), The task of ensuring food safety in South Africa is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health (DoH), specifically the Food Control Section. About | 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. Release means “release into the environment and includes a trial release, conditional release and general release.”  GMO Act § 1. Research on genetically engineered animals is not supported by the government. [32]  Two of the members must be from the public sector. As a result of both public hostility to GMOs and these legal restrictions, there are currently no GM crops grown in France, even though France imports substantial amounts of GMOs from abroad. By 2013 Cameroon, Malawi and Uganda had approved trials of genetically altered crops. A majority of Swedes consider it important that their milk is GMO free, and dairy farmers therefore avoid GMOs in their fodder. § 2. without authority.”[69]  This offense is, on conviction, punishable by a fine and/or up to one year imprisonment. Id. The status of GMO crops in Africa hasn’t changed all that much since the 2009 publicationof “GMO Trade Regulation and Developing Countries” by Richard B. Stewart, who wrote: Different assessments of costs and benefits among the nations have led to a patchwork of environmental health and safety regulations regarding GMO foods and crops. Apply for a permit at the Registrar of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). [21]  Members must include representatives from various departments listed in the GMO Act, including the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, who are well versed on the impact of GMOs in their respective fields/sectors and applicable law and policy. 81 2 Summary of the challenges facing protected areas in South Africa 2.1 Poor conservation planning Prior to 2000, planning was wholly inadequate within South Africa’s conservation sector and the country’s protected areas network accordingly arose in a largely ad hoc manner. [5]  The GMO Act was amended in 2006 (although the amendment did not take effect until 2010) in part to give effect to the  Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which South Africa ratified in 2003. Importing, cultivating, researching, and developing GMOs are permitted, as long as applicable procedures are observed. [29], 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. Since 2001 the EU has had a de facto moratorium on GMO approvals, but a September 2013 decision of the General Court of the EU may put an end to the moratorium. Finally, it provides for the punishment of administrative violations and criminal offenses. The Act also requires the registration of all facilities where GMO-related activities take place. [73] Id. [23], The Registrar is appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in consultation with the EC. How are GMOs regulated in South Africa? [34]  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.”[35]  However, a permit is not required for organisms under conditions of contained use at containment level 1 or 2 in a registered facility. In Brazil, GMOs are governed by a law that defines the concept of a GMO and sets rules for the laboratories that work with them. While the government and the agriculture sector take a pragmatic approach toward the import and use of GM products, public opinion is divided as to whether GM foods pose health risks. As yet, there has been no authorized GMO cultivation within Korea. 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. [60]  When damage occurs, users are responsible for cleanup costs. The GMO Law provides that violations of its provisions or its regulations are punishable with civil penalties. approving applications for the use of facilities for conducting GMO-related activities in consultation with the AC. [70]  In addition, a violation under the Consumer Protection Act may result in a civil action and/or administrative fines. More specifically, the Act made sure that bio-safety evaluations be executed for any GMO activity. The Genetically Modified Act 15 of 1997 was implemented by the Department of Agriculture on 1 December 1999. By 2009, 98 percent of c… Norway is one of the most restrictive importers of GM products and does not produce GMOs. [69] Consumer Protection Act No. The primary legislation governing the issue is the Genetically Modified Organisms Act of 1997 (GMO Act)[4] and its subsidiary legislation (GMO Regulations). Genetically Modified Crops in Africa: Economic and Policy Lessons from Countries South of the Sahara investigates how this tool might be effectively used by evaluating the benefits, costs, and risks for African countries of adopting GM crops. [74] Trustees, Biowatch v. Registrar: Genetic Resources, and Others, at 119–26. 34180 (Apr. 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. [13] Id., Submission by African Centre for Biosafety; GMO Act § 17. Egyptian laws do not contain restrictions on researching, producing, or marketing genetically modified crops and food products. This includes research and development, import/export, production, consumption and other uses of … [3] Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Trends in the Agricultural Sector – 2012 at 11 (2013), http://www.nda.agric.za/docs/statsinfo/Trends2012.pdf. [11], However, various key organizations have shown interest in the process of overhauling the GMO regulatory regime. a copy of public notices as required under the GMO Regulations; and. a) Identification of any potential adverse effect resulting from the novel genotypic and/or phenotypic characteristics of the genetically modified organism. The EC, a juristic person, has a number of key functions in the application and approval process for GMO-related activities. The importation, development, testing, and release of GMOs are strictly regulated in New Zealand. [56]  The law imposes this requirement if the composition, nutritional value, mode of storage, preparation, or cooking “of the foodstuff differs significantly from the characteristic composition of the corresponding existing foodstuff. [57] Id. See also a summary of the case at Trustees For the Time Being of the Biowatch Trust v. Registrar Genetic Resources and Others, Right2Info, http://www.right2info.org/cases/r2i-trustees-for-the-time-being-of-the-biowatch-trust-v.-registrar-genetic-resources-and-others (last visited Oct 30, 2013). Pests have been a big problem in South Africa for decades, and GM crops, when first introduced, were seen by many as a new and much-needed solution to the problem. It further requires that safety to the environment be demonstrated before GMOs can be approved for release. Donate Although it is legal to plant GM crops in Japan if certain procedures are followed, no commercial planting of GM crops (aside from ornamental flowers) is occurring in Japan at this time, mainly because the general public is skeptical about the safety of GM crops. These include promoting responsible GMO-related activities; limiting harm to the environment as well as to human and animal health; and establishing standards for conducting risk assessments for GMO-related activities. The use of GMOs in food is a sensitive topic that generates strong public opinion. 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. GMO use is limited and almost exclusively used in animal fodder products. Sellers of GM food must follow labeling requirements. The testing, production, and marketing of GMOs in China are subject to government approval. c)      An evaluation of the consequences should these adverse effects be realized. [58] Consumer Protection Act No. . The form of regulation varies depending on the type of GMO involved. The Department of Agriculture houses the GMO Secretariat and all decision-making is managed by Official blog from the Law Library of Congress, Back to Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms. [19]  Some of its functions include, The EC may have up to ten members, who are appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. 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. As of 2012, GMO planting had expanded to the following nations: USA: Corn, soybean, … [40]  If the EC approves an application, it must include all applicable terms and conditions that the Registrar may then attach to a permit. Advertising or labeling the presence of GMOs in particular food is voluntary unless there is a health or safety concern. 1 December 1999. Proposed Regulation Relating to the Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or Food Containing Genetically Modified (GM) Ingredients. Swedes, both consumers and producers, are very conscious of GMOs. The GMO Act also provides a list of activities to which it does not apply, including techniques involving human gene therapy. Germany imposes strict liability for accidental contamination with GMOs, and has tough and methodically enforced controls over the release of GMOs. In addition to the primary legislation and regulatory institutions, South Africa also has in place other laws and institutions regulating specific issues relating to GMOs. [50], 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. Although GMO growth is not permitted for commercial purposes, GMO products may be imported, sold, and used in the production of food and pharmaceuticals in Israel. Kenya passed laws in 2011, and Ghana and Nigeria passed laws in 2012 which allowed the production and importation of GM crops. Argentina has not ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. There are two major international protocols that address genetically modified organisms, the Cartagena Protocol of  2000 and the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol of 2010. This country report was updated June 2014. The most recent statistical data located regarding public sentiment toward GMOs in South Africa is contained in a 2005 study, which found that only a small segment of South Africa’s public had an understanding of and held an opinion about 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. In addition, this enables the country to collect information on the impact and implications of deliberate release of a particular GMO. Official blog from the Law Library of Congress. At a Glance. [45]  If the release of a GMO “may pose a threat to an indigenous species or the environment no permit for such a release may be issued unless an environmental impact assessment has been conducted” under the terms of the relevant law. [61]  If the user fails to take any such measures, the EC may step in and take all the necessary actions at the user’s expense. Japan enacted the Cartagena Act in 2003 to implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity. [59], The GMO Act imposes two forms of liability: civil and criminal liability. [65]  A person who impersonates any officer appointed under the GMO Act also commits a crime. Every major scienti c body in the world agrees that GMO foods are just as safe […] The first field trials of genetically modified crops in the country were conducted in 1989. 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