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Law and modern biotechnology

Selected issues of relevance to food and agriculture











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    Book (stand-alone)
    Review of the legal frameworks in the ESA-IO Region 2011
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    This review consists of a detailed study of the legal frameworks in the Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia and the United Republic of Tanzania as far as they pertain to fisheries laws, and are related to MCS and actions agreed upon in RFMO Agreements, and as far as they enable effective prosecution. The aim of the study is to provide recommendations for the improvement of these legal frameworks. The general legal review of the above countries is based on a desktop study, which was followed up by in-country specific investigations for Tanzania, Madagascar and Seychelles. Since there are already numerous other reports that consider this same topic, an attempt was made to avoid duplication thereof, and to focus on additional issues where possible. A distinct emphasis was placed on the use of criminal sanctions as a tool to ensure compliance with fisheries legislation. The majority of the report comprises of an assessment of the specific areas that require updating and harmonisation and identification of legal challenges and barriers to enforcement for each country. This assessment is divided into three parts for each country, namely an assessment of the legal framework, an evaluation thereof, and finally, recommendations on how the legislation may be improved. Within the evaluation, legal challenges and barriers to the implementation or adoption of regional agreements and standards and barriers to regional cooperation and information sharing were specific ally considered. The principle fisheries legislation in the Comoros is a 2007 decret, which, while quite extensive, lacks the necessary implementing text. In Kenya the principle fisheries legislation that regulates marine and inland fisheries, as well as aquaculture is comparatively outdated and lacking in many areas, however it was found that the 2011 Bill is extensive, and is in many respects a clear improvement. In Madagascar it was found that the current legislation is currently inadequate a nd contains numerous outdated provisions, such as outdated and inadequate penalties, and inadequate powers of fisheries inspectors. However, as is the case of Kenya, the new 2007 Bill addresses most of these issues. It has however not as yet been finalised, nor is it clear when it will be promulgated. Suggested interventions include a review of all supporting legislation, such as decrees and orders in order to adapt to the Bill. In Mauritius the principal legislation governing fisheries was foun d to have numerous key shortcomings. The recommendation is for a review of the legislation, in order that a comprehensive approach can be taken to ensure that the recent international fisheries instruments to which Mauritius is party are fully implemented. In the Seychelles, there are a number of main pieces of fisheries legislation governing fisheries, and a new Fisheries Bill has been prepared. The new Fisheries Bill, which is expected to become law before the end of 2011 is in the final stage s of development, and is a fine effort to modernize fisheries management. While the Fisheries Act of 1987 does not provide an adequate legal framework for MCS, the 2011 draft Bill is a huge improvement in this regard. In Somalia, it was found that the fisheries legislation is currently outdated and insufficient with regard to the creation of offences and the powers of inspectors, and is no longer an effective tool for fisheries management. There is also an inadequate legal framework for effectiv e MCS, both for the enforcement of domestic legislation as well as the enforcement of regional requirements. The legislative framework requires urgent attention if effective MCS on local and regional level is to be achieved. In Tanzania, there are currently five main pieces of Fisheries’ legislation, because the fishery sector is not a union matter and as a result, Mainland Tanzania and Tanzania Zanzibar each have their own specific pieces of legislation that regulate this sector. The Deep Sea F ishing Authority Act of 1998, as amended in 2007, and the Deep Sea Fishing Authority Regulations of 2009 are comprehensive, and recommendations have been made for their improvement and strengthening.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Developing a communication toolkit on food biotechnologies
    Proceedings of the 2020 technical consultation meetings
    2020
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    Technical consultation meetings on developing a communication toolkit about food biotechnologies were convened in 2020. At the first of the meetings, held on 11 and 12 June 2020, experts presented communications good practices and lessons learned from efforts to communicate information related to food biotechnologies to the general public at national and regional levels. The points raised were to be included in the toolkit as elements of effective communication from the design phase of the communication strategy to producing and disseminating communication products, as well as evaluating the communication efforts. Following the experts’ presentations, there were questions and discussions about the example materials that were drafted after the first technical consultation meetings covering the following 10 areas: i) FAO background and guidance, ii) fundamentals, iii) human health, iv) the environment, v) safety assessment of genetically modified (GM) foods, vi) regulations, vii) benefits, viii) practical uses and applications, ix) current innovations, and x) public engagements. Prior to the second set of meetings, held on 26 and 27 August 2020, draft example materials were circulated among the experts for their review. Based on their feedback, a plan was made to revise the draft materials. This was discussed at the meetings. The key elements that were identified were to be reflected in the revised example materials. The process to finalize the whole toolkit was to take place offline, but it would involve several discussions with relevant FAO internal teams, as necessary. The toolkit, which contains 51 social media suited materials along with a series of guiding documents, is intended for use by technical-level government officials within the competent authorities and ministries that are in charge of the safety assessment of foods derived from biotechnologies for communicating effectively with the general public.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Foods derived from modern biotechnology
    Second Edition
    2009
    The texts in this publication represent the outcome of the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission on principles and guidelines for food safety assessment of foods derived from modern biotechnology. They give guidance on how to assess the safety of such foods and thus protect the health of consumers. This second edition includes texts adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission up to 2008. The Codex Alimentarius Commission is an intergovernmental body with more than 180 members, within the fr amework of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO). The main result of the Commission’s work is the Codex Alimentarius, a collection of internationally adopted food standards, guidelines, codes of practice and other recommendations, with the objective of protecting the health of consumers and ensuring fair practices in the food trade.

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