Country information about GM food safety assessment
St. Kitts and Nevis, also known in the country's constitution as Saint Christopher and Nevis, has been independent since 1983 and forms part of the group of islands known as the Lesser Antilles, located some 2,000 km to the southeast of Miami. The Federation comprises two islands: Nevis with an area of some 93.2 km2 and St. Kitts with 168.4 km2. The official and business language is English.
The Federation is a member of the United Nations (UN), of the Organization of American States (OAS), the British Commonwealth and many other international organizations. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has its headquarters on St. Kitts. It maintains the stability of the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$), which is the national currency of most eastern Caribbean countries and is tied to the US Dollar. The head of state is the Queen of England. St. Kitts and Nevis is a well functioning democracy based on the British parliamentary system.
St. Kitts and Nevis has a pleasant climate, particularly during the cooler months from December to March. Humidity is relatively low, and constant northeast trade winds keep the islands cool. St. Kitts & Nevis offers good opportunities for investors. The workforce is well-educated, English-speaking and friendly. The Government grants tax breaks, guaranteed repatriation of profits and concessions on import duties. There are no income or capital gains taxes, no net wealth taxes and no inheritance or gift taxes in St. Kitts & Nevis.
St. Kitts, the larger of the two islands, is roughly oval in shape except for a long, narrow peninsula to the southeast. Its highest point is Mount Liamuiga (3,792 ft [1,156 m]). The Narrows, a 2-mile- (3-km-) wide channel, separates the two islands.
The circularly shaped Nevis is surrounded by coral reefs and the island is almost entirely a single mountain, Nevis Peak (3,232 ft [985 m]). A volcanic mountain chain dominates the center of both islands.
At present, St. Kitts and Nevis does not have a registered entity that is responsible for the assessment of genetically modified foods. Additionally, there are no established regulations or guidelines that govern the safety, production or distribution of foods derived from r-DNA plants. However, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis established a Biosafety Board in 2012 with the enactment of the national Biosafety Act, 2012 (No. 14 of 2012). This Act applies to the movement, transit, handling and use of all genetically modified organisms that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health.
The Biosafety Board exercises general supervision and control over the transfer, handling and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) with a view to ensuring safety of human and animal health and provision of an adequate level of protection of the environment; determines applications for approval for the transfer, handling and use of genetically modified organisms; carries out research, coordination and advisory functions; and maintain a national database.
Relevant links to documents and information prepared by the competent authority responsible for the safety assessment