Ensuring biosafety at the national level

Suggestions to improve the operation of the South African biosafety regulatory system

South Africa has the only fully functioning biosafety regulatory system in Africa. Farmers plant approved varieties of genetically engineered corn, cotton, and soybeans, and research is being conducted to apply genetic engineering to numerous other crops. While the South African system is functioning and has issued authorizations for activities with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for 10 years, many stakeholders believe it could be improved. As a result, the South African biosafety regulatory system has undergone an evaluation, which included a review of operating procedures and authorizing legislation as well as a series of stakeholder interviews. The evaluation has resulted in several recommendations to improve the operations of the South African system and allow it to become more efficient and effective.

Jaffe, Gregory
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International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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