[56] Regulations Relating to the Labelling of Foodstuffs Obtained Through Certain Techniques of Genetic Modification, GG No. The assessment should take into account current national, regional, and international risk-assessment methods. [64]  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. [8] Consumer Protection Act No. The regulation for mandatory GM labelling in South Africa does not make provision for the terms “GMO free”, “non-GM” or “organic”. GM techniques have been approved for use in research involving both plants and animals, subject to various controls. . South African GMO Act implemented. The GMO Act places various restrictions on the research, production, and marketing of GMOs, including requiring permits, risk assessments, notification to the public, registration, and demonstrated safety to the environment. The testing, production, and marketing of GMOs in China are subject to government approval. 34020 (Feb. 18, 2011), http://www.info.gov.za /view/142060; Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997, Regulations Amendments, 2011, GN No. As a member of the European Union, Italy has been implementing European directives concerning GMOs over the last two decades, but at a rather reluctant pace. The use of GMOs in food is a sensitive topic that generates strong public opinion. Genetically modified (GM) crops have been produced in the initial adopting countries for 20 years. [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. [16], The Act defines a GMO as “[a]n organism the genes or genetic material of which has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally through mating or natural recombination or both. This report summarizes enacted laws on the cultivation and sale of GMOs, as well as public opinion on GM products. Official blog from the Law Library of Congress. [68], The Consumer Protection Act, which imposes labeling requirements on food items containing a certain level of GMOs, also criminalizes certain acts. Despite the higher cost of GM seeds, adoption by many farmers was quick, steady, and widespread. As a consequence, some regions have enacted slightly more permissive regimes than others. 29, 2009), http://www.info.gov.za/view/ DownloadFileAction?id=99961. Nevertheless, opposition and skepticism persists among various groups, including rights groups, trade unions, and religious organizations. a copy of public notices as required under the GMO Regulations; and. 23 of 2006, Preamble; Country Profile – South Africa, Biosafety Clearing House, Convention on Biological Diversity, http://bch.cbd.int/about/countryprofile .shtml?country=za (last visited Oct. 30, 2013). [22]  All decisions of the EC require unanimous support of its members, and anything short of that amounts to rejection. USA.gov. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions may be applied to violations of licensing requirements. Korea signed the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in 2000 and enacted implementing legislation the following year. By 2013 Cameroon, Malawi and Uganda had approved trials of genetically altered crops. Prior risk assessment and subsequent monitoring and reporting are necessary for all GMO-related activities. 32966 (Feb. 26, 2010), http://www.info.gov.za/view/117972; Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997, Regulations Amendments, 2010, GN 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. The GMO Act and applicable implementing regulations and biosafety framework govern the regulation of biotech crops in South Africa. 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. [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. in South Africa. Developing countrie… 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. The various permits allow the following activities: importation of GMOs into South Africa; exportation of GMOs from South Africa [69] Consumer Protection Act No. [75] Trustees, Biowatch v. Registrar: Genetic Resources, and Others at 137. Most of Belgium’s regulation of GMOs is directly or indirectly derived from European regulations. Egyptian laws do not contain restrictions on researching, producing, or marketing genetically modified crops and food products. External Link Disclaimer | 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. There are several EU-approved GMOs that are specifically illegal in Norway. In addition, this enables the country to collect information on the impact and implications of deliberate release of a particular GMO. The Genetically Modified Act 15 of 1997 was implemented by the Department of Agriculture on 1 December 1999. 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. The report discusses the legislation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically modified (GM) plants and foods in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, England and Wales, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States. Africa include 5 Argentine canola, 10 cotton, 42 maize, 1 rice (for food), and 12 soybeans. [59], The GMO Act imposes two forms of liability: civil and criminal liability. A number of national and international regulations govern the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in South Africa. The first section contains discussions of aspects of the topic in general and in international law. Relative to other African countries, South Africa embraced biotechnology early on. 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. A draft law on biosafety was not approved by the Egyptian Parliament. 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. [43], Any applicant aggrieved by a decision or action of the EC, the Registrar, or an inspector may appeal before the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries within thirty days of the issuance of the decision or action in question. [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. 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 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. b)      An evaluation of the likelihood of these adverse effects being realized, taking into account the level and kind of exposure of the potential receiving environment to the genetically modified organism. [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. [6] Genetically Modified Organisms Amendment Act No. 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. External Link Disclaimer | [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. 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. [13]  Similarly, one of the farmers unions called for the introduction of labeling requirements for foods containing GMOs. They apply only to transboundary actions; they do not apply to use or transit of GMOs within countries. Press | Egyptian activists have voiced their rejection of this policy. d)      An estimate of the overall risk proposed by the genetically modified organism based on the evaluation of the likelihood and consequences of the identified adverse effects being realized. 57 of 1978) Patent Regulations, 1978 Patent Examination Regulations, 2003 Notice in terms of Regulation 2 of the Patents Regulations Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (No.15 of 1976) Plant Breeders’ Rights Amendment Act, 1996 (No. [57] Id. a) Identification of any potential adverse effect resulting from the novel genotypic and/or phenotypic characteristics of the genetically modified organism. Biotechnology, genetic modi cation, genetic engineering and GMOs are terms for essentially the same process: breeding crops and livestock to have certain desirable traits. 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. The agricultural GMO regulations regulate not only crops, but also animals, microorganisms, and products derived from these sources. 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. Argentina is the third largest grower of biotech crops in the world, after the United States and Brazil. Donate 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. 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 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. Currently, eighteen GM food lines and fourteen GM feed lines are approved and registered in Russia. 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. Under the GMO Act, users have a duty to take appropriate measures to avoid an adverse impact on the environment and on human and animal health from the use of GMOs. 29, 2009), http://www .info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=99961. By 2009, 98 percent of c… Id. [46] NEMBA § 78. 25908 (Feb. 26, 2010), http://www.doh.gov.za/docs/foodcontrol/advertising/2004/fcr25.pdf. 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. The 1997 GMO Act is available on the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) website, at http://www.daff.gov.za/doaDev/sideMenu/acts/15%20 GMOs%20No15%20% 281997%29.pdf. [78], Hanibal Goitom 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. The first field trials of genetically modified crops in the country were conducted in 1989. Inspector General | Foreign Law Specialist* South Africa Patent Act (No. [12]  For example, the African Centre for Biosafety, as part of its submission, demanded that biotech companies assume liability for any adverse impact of a GMO-related activity on human health and the environment, a demand that was later incorporated into the GMO Act as part of the 2006 amendment (see the Liability Regime section below). Legal | Norway is one of the most restrictive importers of GM products and does not produce GMOs. During this period, genetically modified maize accounted for 79% (2.1 million hectares) of the commercial land planted with maize, with white maize accounting for 78% (1.3 million hectares) and yellow maize accounting for 81% (863,277 hectares) of the total maize planted in their respective classes. A GMO-related activity may not be conducted in South Africa without a permit. at 113; About Us, Biowatch South Africa, http://www.biowatch.org.za/main.asp?include=about/about.html (last visited Oct. 30, 2013). One GM potato for industrial use has been approved for cultivation in Sweden, but currently no GMOs are being produced. Press | Health Canada is mandated to assess the safety of foods for human consumption, including GMOs in foodstuff, and for authorizing them to be sold in Canada. 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. 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 Additionally, it establishes authorization procedures for GMO research, and establishes rules for the production and marketing of GMOs, restrictions on their release into the environment, regimes for their cultivation, requirements for reporting their release, inspections and monitoring of GMO research activities and their commercial release, implementing authorities and authorizing procedures for their release, and restrictions on GMOs in foodstuffs. The regulation for mandatory GM labelling in South Africa does not make provision for the terms "GMO free", "non-GM" or "organic". . Advertising or labeling the presence of GMOs in particular food is voluntary unless there is a health or safety concern. How are GMOs regulated 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. labeling . [36], A person interested in carrying out a GMO-related activity may make an application to the Registrar, and the application must include. 23 of 2006 (Apr. 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. [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. However, terminology indicating the absence of genetic modification below a specific threshold, “Genetically modified content is below 5%”, has been included. March 2014. 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. 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. Accessibility | 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. 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). This country report was updated June 2014. Russia recently adopted an approval procedure for release of GMOs into the environment, which brings the country closer to possible cultivation of GM plants. Research on genetically engineered animals is not supported by the government. 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. Local farmers are continuing to use toxic glyphosate-based products, and are farming crops that have been genetically modified and are therefore Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). 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 . Jobs | Center for Food Safety (CFS) has announced the release of its new, interactive Genetically Engineered (GE) Food Labeling Laws map detailing the powerful, growing presence of laws requiring information on GE content in consumer food products around the world. [14], Despite the recognition of the risks involved, GMO-related activities appear to enjoy support within scientific and academic circles, with supporters believing that the risks are manageable. The production and sale of certain GMOs are legal in France, but are subject to very restrictive rules. 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