Ministry of Health to launch Biosafety policy & legislative framework

By Caribbean Medical News Staff
St. Vincent – The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment in its pledge to implement the National Bio-safety Framework is launching a bio-safety policy, along with the supportive legislative framework.
A local legal advisor reviewed and revised a Draft of the bio-safety policy and bill. National consultation was also sought during the drafting of the policy. In keeping with the practice of framing the National Bio-safety Policy and Bill, Dr. Marlene Keese, a Legal Advisor, of the International Centre of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) will assess the status of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ bio-safety legislative framework. Dr. Keese is set to visit the island and will be meeting with key stake holders to deliberate on the policy.
Her visit is a part of the funding given by the Regional Bio-safety Implementation Project, which is implemented by the University of the West Indies; to help participating countries strengthen their national bio-safety agendas.
Some of the National Bio-safety draft policy points in connection with Government’s obligations are:
(a) To ensure that they are suitable safety measures for the use of modern biotechnology
(b) To apply bio-safety measures to make certain that modern biotechnology does not have an adverse effect on conservation, the sustainable use of biological diversity, human and animal health and socio-economic development of the State.
The legal framework is a vital to guide the compliance of the government with the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-safety and to respond to challenges posed by a quickly advancing modern biotechnology; of which the growing international trade in Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) must be of great concern.

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