Agro-GMO Biosafety Legislation in China: Current Situation, Challenges and Solutions
23 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2016
Date Written: September 1, 2012
China’s legal framework of agro-GMO biosafety management mainly consists of four types of laws: the Environmental Protection Law, the legislation specifically addressing agro-GMO biosafety issues, the regulations specifically addressing agro-GMO biosafety issues in other relevant fields, and the technical standards for agro-GMO biosafety. The major legal institutions governing agro-GMO biosafety issues mainly address the arrangement of competent authorities and coordination bodies, risk evaluations, safety measures, labeling, reporting procedures, licensing, supervision and inspection, and emergency response. Although the current legal system and institutions play an active and significant role in agroGMO biosafety management, problems in the legal framework, administrative system, management institutions, and enforcement and compliance are holding up the effectiveness of the legislation. The proposed solutions are fourfold. First, formulate a new comprehensive legislation law on GMO safety, stipulating the arrangement of supervision, research management measures, release, commercialization, transboundary movement of GMOs, emergency responses, and legal liabilities. In the meantime, the government should establish or improve some specific legislation to make it more effective and fill in the gaps of the current legal framework. Second, improve the administrative system by setting up three agencies: a Coordinating Committee of National Biosafety, an Experts Committee for National Biosafety, and a Management Office of National Biosafety. Third, perfect such management institutions as vehicles for risk assessment, contained research management, management of environmental release and commercialization, information disclosure and access, emergency response, and damage compensation. Fourth, strengthen enforcement and compliance by improving the capacity to mitigate the risks posed by GMOs, formulating better policies on the technical support system, and promoting the public’s understanding of agro-GMO safety concerns.
Keywords: Agro-GMO biosafety, legislation, China
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