United Nations Biosafety meeting to take place in Brazil

The five-day meeting of the treaty's governing body is scheduled to take a decision on the detailed documentation requirements for bulk shipments of genetically modified corn, soybean and other agricultural commodities that are intended for food, feed or processing.

Adopted in January 2000 as a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity Biosafety, the Biosafety Protocol aims at ensuring that the transboundary movement of living modified organisms or LMOs, also commonly known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs) does not adversely affect biological diversity. Risks to human health are also taken into account.

The Protocol entered into force on 11 September 2003 and so far 131 countries as well as the European Community have ratified it.

The first meeting of the Parties to the Protocol, which was held in Malaysian city of Kuala Lumpur in February 2004, adopted detailed information requirements for GMOs (such as genetically engineered seeds and fish) that are destined for direct placement into the environment.

The second meeting of the Parties, which took place in Montreal ended without agreement on the shipping documentation requirements for bulk shipments of living modified organisms.


Contact: David Ainsworth
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

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