Center for Environmental Risk Assessment

Washington, DC, United States

Center for Environmental Risk Assessment

Washington, DC, United States
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Roberts A.,Center for Environmental Risk Assessment | Finardi-Filho F.,University of Sao Paulo | Hegde S.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Kiekebusch J.,Asociacion de Semilleros Argentinos | And 9 more authors.
Transgenic Research | Year: 2015

The low-level presence (LLP) of genetically engineered (GE) seeds that have been approved in the country of origin but not the country of import presents challenges for regulators in both seed importing and exporting countries, as well as for the international seed trade and the farmers who rely on it. In addition to legal, financial and regulatory challenges, such LLP situations in seed may also require an environmental risk assessment by the country of import. Such assessments have typically been informed by the national framework established to support decisions related to wide scale cultivation, and frequently do not take into account the low environmental exposure and prior regulatory history of the GE plant. In addition, such assessment processes may not be well suited to the decision-making timeframe that is necessary when dealing with an LLP situation in imported seed. In order to facilitate regulatory decision making, this paper proposes a set of scientific criteria for identifying GE crop plants that are expected to pose a low or negligible risk to the environment under LLP conditions in seed. Regulatory decision makers in some importing countries may decide to use these criteria to assist in risk analysis associated with LLP situations they are experiencing or could experience in the future, and might choose to proactively apply the criteria to identify existing GE plants with regulatory approvals in other countries that would be expected to pose low risk under conditions of LLP in seed. © 2015, The Author(s).


Garcia-Alonso M.,Estel Consult Ltd. | Hendley P.,Phasera Ltd. | Bigler F.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon | Parker R.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | And 4 more authors.
Transgenic Research | Year: 2014

It is commonly held that confined field trials (CFTs) used to evaluate the potential adverse environmental impacts of a genetically engineered (GE) plant should be conducted in each country where cultivation is intended, even when relevant and potentially sufficient data are already available from studies conducted elsewhere. The acceptance of data generated in CFTs “out of country” can only be realized in practice if the agro-climatic zone where a CFT is conducted is demonstrably representative of the agro-climatic zones in those geographies to which the data will be transported. In an attempt to elaborate this idea, a multi-disciplinary Working Group of scientists collaborated to develop a conceptual framework and associated process that can be used by the regulated and regulatory communities to support transportability of CFT data for environmental risk assessment (ERA). As proposed here, application of the conceptual framework provides a scientifically defensible process for evaluating if existing CFT data from remote sites are relevant and/or sufficient for local ERAs. Additionally, it promotes a strategic approach to identifying CFT site locations so that field data will be transportable from one regulatory jurisdiction to another. Application of the framework and process should be particularly beneficial to public sector product developers and small enterprises that develop innovative GE events but cannot afford to replicate redundant CFTs, and to regulatory authorities seeking to improve the deployment of limited institutional resources. © 2014, The Author(s).


Haggman H.,University of Oulu | Raybould A.,Hill International | Borem A.,Federal University of Viçosa | Fox T.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | And 14 more authors.
Plant Biotechnology Journal | Year: 2013

Forests are vital to the world's ecological, social, cultural and economic well-being yet sustainable provision of goods and services from forests is increasingly challenged by pressures such as growing demand for wood and other forest products, land conversion and degradation, and climate change. Intensively managed, highly productive forestry incorporating the most advanced methods for tree breeding, including the application of genetic engineering (GE), has tremendous potential for producing more wood on less land. However, the deployment of GE trees in plantation forests is a controversial topic and concerns have been particularly expressed about potential harms to the environment. This paper, prepared by an international group of experts in silviculture, forest tree breeding, forest biotechnology and environmental risk assessment (ERA) that met in April 2012, examines how the ERA paradigm used for GE crop plants may be applied to GE trees for use in plantation forests. It emphasizes the importance of differentiating between ERA for confined field trials of GE trees, and ERA for unconfined or commercial-scale releases. In the case of the latter, particular attention is paid to characteristics of forest trees that distinguish them from shorter-lived plant species, the temporal and spatial scale of forests, and the biodiversity of the plantation forest as a receiving environment. © 2013 ILSI Research Foundation.


PubMed | Asociacion de Semilleros Argentinos, DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto Corporation, MAGyP and 6 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Transgenic research | Year: 2015

The low-level presence (LLP) of genetically engineered (GE) seeds that have been approved in the country of origin but not the country of import presents challenges for regulators in both seed importing and exporting countries, as well as for the international seed trade and the farmers who rely on it. In addition to legal, financial and regulatory challenges, such LLP situations in seed may also require an environmental risk assessment by the country of import. Such assessments have typically been informed by the national framework established to support decisions related to wide scale cultivation, and frequently do not take into account the low environmental exposure and prior regulatory history of the GE plant. In addition, such assessment processes may not be well suited to the decision-making timeframe that is necessary when dealing with an LLP situation in imported seed. In order to facilitate regulatory decision making, this paper proposes a set of scientific criteria for identifying GE crop plants that are expected to pose a low or negligible risk to the environment under LLP conditions in seed. Regulatory decision makers in some importing countries may decide to use these criteria to assist in risk analysis associated with LLP situations they are experiencing or could experience in the future, and might choose to proactively apply the criteria to identify existing GE plants with regulatory approvals in other countries that would be expected to pose low risk under conditions of LLP in seed.


Romeis J.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon | Hellmich R.L.,Iowa State University | Candolfi M.P.,Innovative Environmental Services IES Ltd | Carstens K.,DuPont Pioneer | And 8 more authors.
Transgenic Research | Year: 2011

This paper provides recommendations on experimental design for early-tier laboratory studies used in risk assessments to evaluate potential adverse impacts of arthropod-resistant genetically engineered (GE) plants on non-target arthropods (NTAs). While we rely heavily on the currently used proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in this discussion, the concepts apply to other arthropod-active proteins. A risk may exist if the newly acquired trait of the GE plant has adverse effects on NTAs when they are exposed to the arthropod-active protein. Typically, the risk assessment follows a tiered approach that starts with laboratory studies under worst-case exposure conditions; such studies have a high ability to detect adverse effects on non-target species. Clear guidance on how such data are produced in laboratory studies assists the product developers and risk assessors. The studies should be reproducible and test clearly defined risk hypotheses. These properties contribute to the robustness of, and confidence in, environmental risk assessments for GE plants. Data from NTA studies, collected during the analysis phase of an environmental risk assessment, are critical to the outcome of the assessment and ultimately the decision taken by regulatory authorities on the release of a GE plant. Confidence in the results of early-tier laboratory studies is a precondition for the acceptance of data across regulatory jurisdictions and should encourage agencies to share useful information and thus avoid redundant testing. © 2010 The Author(s).


Carstens K.,DuPont Pioneer | Cayabyab B.,National Crop Protection Center Crop Protection Cluster | De Schrijver A.,Biosafety and Biotechnology Unit | Gadaleta P.G.,Biotechnology Directorate | And 5 more authors.
GM crops & food | Year: 2014

Most regulatory authorities require that developers of genetically engineered insect-resistant (GEIR) crops evaluate the potential for these crops to have adverse impacts on valued non-target organisms (NTOs), i.e., organisms not intended to be controlled by the trait. In many cases, impacts to NTOs are assessed using surrogate species, and it is critical that the data derived from surrogates accurately predict any adverse impacts likely to be observed from the use of the crop in the agricultural context. The key is to select surrogate species that best represent the valued NTOs in the location where the crop is going to be introduced, but this selection process poses numerous challenges for the developers of GE crops who will perform the tests, as well as for the ecologists and regulators who will interpret the test results. These issues were the subject of a conference "Surrogate Species Selection for Assessing Potential Adverse Environmental Impacts of Genetically Engineered Plants on Non-Target Organisms" convened by the Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, ILSI Research Foundation. This report summarizes the proceedings of the conference, including the presentations, discussions and the points of consensus agreed to by the participants.


Roberts A.,Center for Environmental Risk Assessment | Devos Y.,GMO Unit | Raybould A.,Hill International | Bigelow P.,Michigan State University | Gray A.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology
Transgenic Research | Year: 2014

The requirement for environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically engineered (GE) plants prior to large scale or commercial introduction into the environment is well established in national laws and regulations, as well as in international agreements. Since the first introductions of GE plants in commercial agriculture in the 1990s, a nearly universal paradigm has emerged for conducting these assessments based on a few guiding principles. These include the concept of case-by-case assessment, the use of comparative assessments, and a focus of the ERA on characteristics of the plant, the introduced trait, and the receiving environment as well as the intended use. In practice, however, ERAs for GE plants have frequently focused on achieving highly detailed characterizations of potential hazards at the expense of consideration of the relevant levels of exposure. This emphasis on exhaustive hazard characterization can lead to great difficulties when applied to ERA for GE plants under low-exposure conditions. This paper presents some relevant considerations for conducting an ERA for a GE plant in a low-exposure scenario in the context of the generalized ERA paradigm, building on discussions and case studies presented during a session at ISBGMO 12. © 2013, The Author(s).


Since the first regulatory approval of a genetically engineered (GE) plant was issued in 1992, hundreds of additional GE plants, thousands of regulatory decisions and millions of tons of GE grain and seed have been produced. In an increasingly global economy, the grain and seeds move relatively freely across national jurisdictions, but the regulatory decisions and associated data and analyses do not. Combined with the realities of agricultural production, this has led to a legal and regulatory challenge due to the low level presence (LLP) of GE grain or seeds that do not have regulatory approvals in the country of destination. In order to assist regulators in conducting environmental risk assessments related to LLP, reviews of environmental safety data, including associated regulatory analyses and decisions, for proteins commonly introduced in GE plants have been produced. © Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, ILSI Research Foundation.


PubMed | Center for Environmental Risk Assessment
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Transgenic research | Year: 2014

The requirement for environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically engineered (GE) plants prior to large scale or commercial introduction into the environment is well established in national laws and regulations, as well as in international agreements. Since the first introductions of GE plants in commercial agriculture in the 1990s, a nearly universal paradigm has emerged for conducting these assessments based on a few guiding principles. These include the concept of case-by-case assessment, the use of comparative assessments, and a focus of the ERA on characteristics of the plant, the introduced trait, and the receiving environment as well as the intended use. In practice, however, ERAs for GE plants have frequently focused on achieving highly detailed characterizations of potential hazards at the expense of consideration of the relevant levels of exposure. This emphasis on exhaustive hazard characterization can lead to great difficulties when applied to ERA for GE plants under low-exposure conditions. This paper presents some relevant considerations for conducting an ERA for a GE plant in a low-exposure scenario in the context of the generalized ERA paradigm, building on discussions and case studies presented during a session at ISBGMO 12.

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