Violation of biosafety regulations: the GMO

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"There is an ongoing process of dismantling of biosafety regulations in the country," Fernandes declaraGabriel commenting on the regulatory resolution authorizing GMO producing companies to seek exemption from the monitoring of products after commercial release, approved this week by the National Technical Commission on Biosafety - CTNBio. With the change, companies are enabled to monitor the effects of GMOs on human health and the environment. "The non-post-marketing monitoring of GM prevents potential risks are identified. With it, companies will say they still have not been proven damage caused by the use of GMOs, "explains the researcher.

According to the agronomist, before the rules on the monitoring of transgĂȘnicosserem changed, companies presented their views at a meeting of CTNBio. "In practice, the meeting was important for companies to present their proposals on monitoring. When asked by one of the members, the president of CTNBio said other interested parties could submit their suggestions in writing, but the basic text was not available for comment, nor was opened for public consultation period. "

In the following interview granted by e-mail with IHU On-Line, Fernandes reports that "84% of the total area cultivated with genetically modified seeds" is only in four countries: Brazil, USA, Argentina and India. Claims to have a false idea that transgenic grows worldwide and that this "is an image that the industry tries to push. The high concentration in the seed market explains much of this expansion, including in Brazil. " The production of transgenic crops will be reduced only "when consumers generally have greater interest in where their food comes from and see the consumption policy is also an option," he says.

Gabriel Fernandes is an agronomist graduated from the University of Sao Paulo - USP, and member of the AS-PTA Family Farming and Agroecology.

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Paulo said...

Although I can understand Gabriel's concern about the possibility of exempting the monitoring of a given transgenic organism, I can not agree with him in many ways. First, the exemption rules were not discussed in CTNBio, so the "violation of biosafety regulations" does not exist. Second, the post-commercial release monitoring is not as effective as he thinks to point out possible problems to health or the environment. Anyway, Brazil has a system of health surveillance and identification of various forms of environmental damage, besides the proposed monitoring, which are active and independent on the company that owns the technology. If it were not so, the environmental and health impacts of all that is sold in Brazil would not be perceived, because NOTHING is monitored, except the GMOs ... We always have products that are withdrawn from the Brazilian market, industries that are fined, recalls of vehicles and many other examples that strongly suggest tha our current surveillance systems are effective and should not be overlooked or forgotten by the Brazilians. Vigilance as it is now done costs the nation a lot of money, dedication of a large contingent of staff and participation of many other actors in society and, in fact, protects the Brazilians against unanticipated adverse events or misconduct of any actor in the productive sector.

Monitoring, as proposed now (just look http://genpeace.blogspot.com/2011/11/novo-sistema-de-monitoramento-de.html, text in portuguese) is an enhancement of the European model. There are two important distinctions, however: it is not mandatory (the Brazilian law does not mention this requirement or even mention the post-commercial release monitoring) and does not depend on baseline values. This makes sense: how could someone monitor a transgenic mosquito that dies after a few days and whose progeny also dies? Or a yeast that is used only in confinement? Or a transgenic cow? Or a product that was withdrawn after a year or two in the market? Moreover, it can be poorly informative (in terms of new info on damage) to monitor a product already on the market in many parts of the world for many years, even though our environment may be different. Finally, the proposed model is very sensible and precautionary, instituting a general surveillance (called general monitoring) designed to depict unanticipated effects of a product on the environment or human health, something that was not efferctively acchieved in previous monitoring systems. Let's see how the country comes up with these new rules, because until now the doomsday predictions of the staff against GMOs have not been fulfilled, neither here in Brazil nor anywhere else in the World.

Paulo said...

For further information on the new monitoring system, please access http://www.ctnbio.gov.br/index.php/content/view/16781.html (portuguese) or http://genpeace.blogspot.com/2011/12/brazils-new-post-release-monitoring.html (english)

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