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Biosafety and Biotechnology in Africa: Eswatini's Experience

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Biosafety and Biotechnology in Africa: Eswatini's Experience
Case Study Session
Mr Isaac Dladla, RCE Eswatini
9th African Regional RCE Meeting
5-7 August, 2019, Luyengo, Eswatini

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Biosafety and Biotechnology in Africa: Eswatini's Experience

  1. 1. 2019/08/12 1 BIOSAFETY & BIOTECHNOLOGY ESWATINI GENETIC ENGINEERING Is: Artificially copying a piece of DNA from one organism and joining this copy of DNA into the DNA of another organism SUMMARY OF STEPS Donor DNA Plasmid 1. Cut with restriction enzymes Donor DNA Sticky Ends 2. Ligase bonds sticky ends together Recombinant DNA BIOSAFETY CONSIDERATIONS The concept of biosafety encompasses a range of measures, policies and procedures for minimizing potential risks that biotechnology may pose to the environment and human health. Establishing credible and effective safeguards for GMOs is critical for maximizing the benefits of biotechnology while minimizing its risks. BENEFITS Pest resistant crops  In-built resistance to lepidopteron  Protects the yield Herbicide tolerant crops  Spray herbicide instead of weeding physically  Protects the yield  Reduce soil disturbance Reduced production costs  Reduced spaying & weeding costs Development of new varieties  New varieties in a short space of time Use of marginal areas  Crops adapting to harsh conditions Reduced pesticide use  Less pesticide spraying • Environmental friendly CONCERNS Environmental  Loss of biodiversity – Extensive monocropping  Genetic pollution – Gene transfer  Resistance in pests - Poor management techniques (Refuge)  Super weeds – Poor herbicide use (chemical mixing during spraying)  Effect on non-target pests  Increased herbicide use - Environmental Hazard Health  Food allergens  Food toxicities  Antibiotic resistance Socio-economic  Monopolies & buying seed  Loss of traditional varieties
  2. 2. 2019/08/12 2 THE BIOSAFETY ACT, 2012 Components of the Act Regulation Adoption of Precautionary Approach Public Involvement Monitoring & Enforcement Issuing Permits  Confined Use  Release into the environment Import & Export  F, F & P  Offences & Penalties  Inspections Identification  Labeling  Documentation  Public Awareness  Public Education  Public Participation  Information Sharing  Risk Assessment  Risk Management  Risk Monitoring EXPERIENCES Yellow Maize imports for feed processing White maize for food processing Bt Cotton Public Awareness GMO Detection Laboratory- UNESWA (L) Mainstreaming of Biosafety in Curriculum Institutional Biosafety Committee  Prepares the concept  Submits it to the IBC  Ensure compliance  Reports to the IBC  Prepares the application, dossier & RMP  Submits to the SEA  Respond to the SEA’s requests  Ensure permit conditions are complied to  Does the day-to-day monitoring  Report to the SEA Competent Authority  Screens the Application  Does the Risk Assessment  Request for further info.  Issues the permit  Ensures compliance through the IBC  Issues fines and penalties Researchers ROLE OF PROSPECTIVE APPLICANTS CHALLENGES Liability and Redress issues Illegal Imports Emergency Preparedness Poor awareness
  3. 3. 2019/08/12 3 Ngiyabonga