Genetically Modified Organisms and Biosafety:

A background paper for decision-makers and others to assist in consideration of GMO issues1,2

Over the coming ten years, the union will also play a major role in identifying and defining the emerging issues that affect biodiversity. It is likely that particular attention will be given to the environmental impacts of biotechnology

IUCN Programme, adopted by the 2nd World Conservation Congress,
Amman, Jordan, 4-11 October 2000

IUCN-The World Conservation Union August 2004
DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.CH.2004.PGC.1.en


 Index

Acronyms used in this Briefing

I. Introduction

II. Biosafety and GMOs Technical and Technological issues

III. Crosscutting Principles

IV. Institutions and Administrative Frameworks

V. Recommendations: Responsible Decision-Making Regarding Biosafety and GMOs

VI. Conclusion

VII. List of references

Annex: Excerpt from the Guide to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety


1This paper was prepared by the IUCN Environmental Law Centre. The Lead Author was Tomme Young. It reflects contributions from Rachel Asante Owusu, Françoise Burhenne-Guilmin, Martha Chouchena-Rojas, Tom Hammond, Jack A. Heinemann, Geoffrey Howard, William Jackson, Olga Krever, Sue Mainka, Jeffrey A. McNeely, Aroha Mead, John Scanlon and Richard Tapper. It also reflects the verbal comments of members of the Programme and Policy Committee of the IUCN Council, when they considered this document in May and December, 2002, and comments received from the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy and through the "biosafety comment process," which began on 11 April 2003. The lead author assumes full responsibility for errors in its content or misunderstandings of particular comments.

2This paper is intended to summarise extensive initial research regarding the issues relating to biosafety and GMOs. Although any discussion of this issue necessarily requires “scientific rigour” it is also clear that, to be valuable for the target audience and purpose, it should aim for a useable level of brevity, rather than exhaustive exposition of the issue. Although citations and footnotes are used only for quotations, and specific examples, the information contained in this paper is fully documented by (and can be supplemented from) the resources listed in the bibliography and notes of the discussions with the contributors identified in footnote 1.