Country information about GM food safety assessment
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.
Relevant links to documents and information prepared by the competent authority responsible for the safety assessment
Information on stacked events
Contact details of the competent authority(s) responsible for the safety assessment and the product applicant: