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Policy and Regulation of Biotechnology in Food Production

The Food and Agriculture Organisation prepared this background paper for its 24th regional conference for Africa held in Bamako, Mali. It introduces African policy-makers to some of the key issues that need addressing in biotechnology.

The report first reviews the main international, regional and national policy and legal instruments for genetically modified products in Africa. It then discusses policy issues and options arising from the production, safety assessment, handling and labelling of genetically modified organisms in Africa, including mechanisms to encourage and facilitate regional harmonisation of regulatory approaches.

In particular, the document examines issues of liability and redress, the incorporation of socio-economic considerations in decision making, intellectual property concerns and research priorities. The paper concludes with some general recommendations and guidelines for further policy analysis and decision-making.

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