New GenØk report: Monitoring of GMOs


GenOk_Biosafety_Report_2013_02_Page_01Applications for release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Norway shall include a detailed plan to monitor any environmental effects. In a new report, GenØk gives the Norwegian Environment Agency advice on what such a monitoring plan should contain.

The procedure for processing applications
As a member of the EEA, Norway follows the EU procedures for approval of GMOs. Applications for approval of GMOs are therefore treated in the EU first and Norway participate in the consultation process. If the GMO is approved in the EU, Norway finalize the process according to the requirements of the Norwegian Gene Technology Act. In the EU any application for the release of a GMO must include a plan for monitoring unintended effects. Norway requires a more specific plan for environmental monitoring.

Monitoring plan
The Gene Technology Act describes the framework for the design of a monitoring plan, but does not detail the activities that will be implemented, the extent of monitoring and how one should report from it. The Norwegian Environment Agency has therefore asked GenØk – Centre for Biosafety to describe how such a national surveillance plan for a GMO can be designed. Researchers at GenØk have used a genetically modified canola (MON88302), which has the ability to tolerate herbicides, as an example. The report highlights the potential adverse effects on the environment, biodiversity and human and animal health.

The report highlights the importance of a thorough environmental risk assessment as a prerequisite to prepare a thorough and detailed monitoring plan.
Download report