Practicality and usefulness of the ‘Guidance on risk assessment of living modified organisms’
The Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on risk assessment and risk management under the ‘Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety’ developed a ‘guidance on risk assessment of living modified organisms (LMOs)’. The objective of the guidance is to provide a reference that assists governments and other parties involved to implement the risk assessment part of the Cartagena Protocol.
The guidance consists of three parts: a roadmap for risk assessment of all LMOs (Part I), guidance for the risk assessment of specific types of LMOs and traits (Part II) and guidance on monitoring of LMOs released into the environment (Part III). In June 2013, the parties of the Cartagena Protocol invited stakeholders to test the practicality, usefulness and utility of the guidance using actual cases of risk assessment. The information obtained by the testing process will be used to further improve the guidance.
The Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Environment decided to contribute to the testing process and organised workshops with experienced risk assessors to test the guidance. In addition, COGEM was asked to advice on the practicality, usefulness and utility of the guidance. Due to time constraints COGEM did not test the specific guidance on living modified plants with tolerance to abiotic stress and did not study the background materials that are linked to the guidance.