Recognizing the importance of preserving its biological diversity and natural resources, Lebanon has ratified the CBD in 1994 and the CPB in 2013. The country developed its National Biodiversity Strategy in 1998 and National Biosafety Framework in 2005. A draft decree to implement the provisions of the CPB in Lebanon was developed by the Ministry of Environment in 2005. It has proposed the establishment of a National Biosafety Committee which includes representatives from all concerned institutions. However the decree is not endorsed yet and the interim measures of the national biosafety framework are not either in place to minimize risks to the environment and human health that might emerge from applications of modern biotechnology. However, actual implemented national laws, decrees and regulations aiming to regulate the agricultural inputs products, human and animal safety, food safety and environment and biodiversity, are indirectly related to biosafety issues and GMO products. Thus, the sanitary and phytosanitary measures law (Law 778-2006), intending to update its legal aspects to meet the requirements set by the WTO, bans the importation of GM seeds and seedlings that may introduce new diseases and toxins into the country (Article 14). Presently, there are no laws or decrees that deal with GMO food consumption. The Lebanese Food Safety Agency does not exist yet. Lebanon is still in the accession phase of the WTO and has established the SPS and the TBT enquiry points at the Ministry of Agriculture and the Lebanese Standards Institution (LIBNOR), following the standards and guidelines of FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission for Food Safety, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) for Plant Health. On the other hand, Lebanon has given a great attention to strengthening human resources and developing the institutional and infrastructural capacities to be able to cope with new developments and applications of modern biotechnology. In this context, concrete efforts have been undertaken by the American University of Science and Technologies (AUST) in order to ensure the implementation of Cartagena Protocol in the country through setting up of a GMO testing facility. Assigned by the Ministry of Trade and Economy and QUALEB program (a European funded project within the Ministry) the AUST laboratory has been working over years on the development and optimization of validated protocols for GMO analysis covering detection, identification and quantification of GMO. The laboratory has acquired the ISO 17025 accreditation for GMO analysis in food, feed, seeds and derived products in 2011.
My country is in the process in developing a regulatory framework that requires the competent authority to conduct safety assessment of GM food.
Structure for GM food safety assessment:
My country is in the process in developing a structure for GM food safety assessment.
Issued in 2015, the Food Safety Law 35-2015 involves the Ministries of Public Health, Agriculture, Industry, Economy and Trade. Article 22 proposes the establishment of the Food Safety Lebanese Commission (FSLC); Article 19 states that Ministry of Agriculture in coordination with FSLC will set the standards which should be met by GM foods.
Contact details of the competent authority(s) responsible for the safety assessment and the product applicant:
GM food safety assessment guidelines:
My country does not conduct safety assessment of GM food but the country has, or the country is in the process of developing national/regional guidelines that are in line with the Codex Guidelines in conducting safety assessment of GM food.
Conduct of GM food safety assessment:
My country has never conducted food safety assessment of GM food but is planning to conduct such assessment in the near future.
Supplemental information on the implementation:
Regulation of stacked events:
There is no regulations in my country on stacked events.
Supplemental information on the stacked events:
Production and trade
GM food/feed production:
My country does not produce any GM food or feed.
GM food/feed imports:
My country may import GM food or feed and there is no authorization process.
Supplemental information on the production and trade:
My country has not faced any LLP/AP situations in the last 10 years.
Supplemental information on the LLP/AP incidents:
My country allows a voluntary and positive/negative labeling on GM food.
Supplemental information on the Labelling requirement:
Relevant links to documents and information prepared by the competent authority responsible for the safety assessment