Advertisement

Transgenic Research

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1049–1055 | Cite as

Regulatory challenges for GM crops in developing economies: the African experience

  • Francis Nang’ayo
  • Stella Simiyu-Wafukho
  • Sylvester O. Oikeh
ISBGMO12

Abstract

Globally, transgenic or genetically modified (GM) crops are considered regulated products that are subject to regulatory oversight during trans-boundary movement, testing and environmental release. In Africa, regulations for transgenic crops are based on the outcomes of the historic Earth Summit Conference held in Rio, Brazil two decades ago, namely, the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the subsequent adoption of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. To exploit the potential benefits of transgenic crops while safeguarding the potential risks on human health and environment, most African countries have signed and ratified the CBD and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Consequently, these countries are required to take appropriate legal, administrative and other measures to ensure that the handling and utilization of living modified organisms are undertaken in a manner that reduces the risks to humans and the environment. These countries are also expected to provide regulatory oversight on transgenic crops through functional national biosafety frameworks (NBFs). While in principle this approach is ideal, NBFs in most African countries are steeped in a host of policy, legal and operational challenges that appear to be at cross-purposes with the noble efforts of seeking to access, test and deliver promising GM crops for use by resource-limited farmers in Africa. In this paper we discuss the regulatory challenges faced during the development and commercialization of GM crops based on experiences from countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Keywords

GM crops National biosafety frameworks Regulatory challenges Regulatory policy Sub-Saharan Africa WEMA project 

References

  1. African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) (2011) Practical solutions for farmers. Annual Report. AATF, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  2. Department of Science and Technology (2001) National Biotechnology Strategy for South Africa. Government of South Africa, PretoriaGoogle Scholar
  3. Douches DS, Brink JA, Quemada H, Pett W, Koch M, Visser D, Maredia K, Zarka K (2008) Commercialization of potato tuber moth resistant potatoes in South Africa. Trop Agric Adv Crop Res 10:139–147Google Scholar
  4. Jaffe G (2004) Regulating transgenic crops: a comparative analysis of different regulatory processes. Transgenic Res 13(1):5–19PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Jaffe G (2012) Crafting national biosafety systems. In: Cordonier Segger MC, Perron-Welch F (eds) Legal aspects of implementing the Cartagena Protocol: Biosafety becomes binding. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  6. James C (2010) Global status of commercialized biotech/GM crops: 2010. ISAAA Brief No. 42. International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. James C (2012) Global status of commercialized biotech/GM crops: 2010. ISAA Brief No. 42. International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Kyetere DT, Oikeh SO, Wachoro G (2012) Achieving water efficiency with maize. In: Heap RB, Bennett DJ (eds) Insights: Africa’s future...can biosciences contribute? Banson, Cambridge, pp 51–57Google Scholar
  9. Mugabe J (2003) International trends in modern biotechnology: entry by and implications for African countries. ATPS special paper series No. 15. African Technology Policy Studies network (ATPS), NairobiGoogle Scholar
  10. Omanya GO, Nang’ayo F, Boadi R et al (2007) A bridge for delivering innovations to smallholder farmers in Africa. Available at: http://www.future-agricultures.org/farmerfirst/files/T2a_Omanya.pdf. Accessed 20 Sept 2013
  11. Paarlberg RL (2000) Governing the GM crop revolution: Policy choices for developing countries. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  12. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2000) Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the convention on biological diversity: text and annexes. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, MontrealGoogle Scholar
  13. United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) (2006) Africa environment outlook 2. UNEP, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  14. UNEP–Division of Global Environment Facility Coordination (GEF) (2005) Toolkit for the development project, phase 3. Drafting the NBF. Part I: formulation of the regulatory regime, project on development of national biosafety framework. UNEP–GEF, GenevaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis Nang’ayo
    • 1
  • Stella Simiyu-Wafukho
    • 1
  • Sylvester O. Oikeh
    • 1
  1. 1.African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF)NairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations