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Browse information by Country › Saudi Arabia

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Focal Point Information

E-mail:
Mwmotairi@sfda.gov.sa
Country:
Saudi Arabia
Organization/agency name (Full name):
Saudi Food and Drug Authority
Contact person name:
Meshal Almotairi
Website:
Physical full address:
Alnafal district
Phone number:
00966555518718
Fax number:
Country introduction
Summary:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula, with the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba to the west and the Arab Gulf to the east. Neighbouring countries are Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, Yemen, and Bahrain, connected to the Saudi mainland by a causeway. Saudi Arabia’s population is 32 million (2017) and its capital city is Riyadh. Saudi Arabia's economy is petroleum-based; 90% of export earnings come from the oil industry; the Kingdom is the world’s largest producer and exporter of oil. 

Saudi Arabia has extensive diplomatic and commercial relations with other countries. It plays a significant role in OPEC and the UN, and is one of the founding members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Saudi Arabia has the largest economy in the GCC and one of G20 members.

Framework
Regulatory framework:
My country has a regulatory framework that requires the competent authority to conduct safety assessment of GM food.
Structure for GM food safety assessment:
My country has competent authority, agency, organization, ministry, department, committee, commission or a system/mechanism that is tasked to conduct or review GM food safety assessment.
Supplemental information:

The Saudi Arabia has developed the following regulations and standards for genetically modified foods as it is committed to safeguarding the community and ensuring that all products introduced into the market conform to a high standard of safety:

  • GSO 2141:2011: General Requirements for Genetically Modified Unprocessed Agricultural Products
  • GSO 2142 :2011: General Requirements for Genetically Modified Processed Food and Feed
  • GSO 2143:2011: General requirements for risk assessment and traceability for genetically modified products
  • GSO ISO 21569:2008: Foodstuffs-Methods of analysis for the detection of genetically modified organisms and derived products-Qualitative nucleic acid based methods
  • GSO ISO 21570:2009: Foodstuffs-Methods of analysis for the detection of genetically modified organisms and derived products-Quantitative nucleic acid based methods
  • GSO ISO 21571:2008: Foodstuffs-Methods of analysis for the detection of Genetically modified organisms and derived products-Nucleic acid extraction.
  • GSO ISO 21572:2008: Foodstuffs-Methods for the detection of genetically modified organisms and derived products-Protein based methods
  • GSO ISO 24276:2007: Food stuffs-Methods of analysis for the detection of genetically modified organisms and derived products-General requirements and definitions.
  • GSO CAC/GL 44:2009: Principles for the risk analysis of foods derived from modern biotechnology
  • GSO CAC/GL 45:2009 Guideline for the conduct of food safety assessment of foods derived from recombinant-dna plants.
  • GSO CAC/GL 46:2009: Guideline for the conduct of food safety assessment of foods produced using recombinant-DNA microorganisms.
  • GSO ISO/TS 21098:2009: Foodstuffs-Nucleic acid based methods of analysis of genetically modified organisms and derived products-Information to be supplied and procedure for the addition of methods to ISO 21569, ISO 21570 or ISO 21571
Contact details of the competent authority(s) responsible for the safety assessment and the product applicant:

Saudi Food and Drug Authority

Assessment
GM food safety assessment guidelines:
My country follows the relevant Codex Guidelines or 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:
Stacked events
Regulation of stacked events:
In my country, GM food/feed that contains stacked event(s) is considered as a new product even if all single events that are stacked have already approved.
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 allows imports GM food or feed upon authorization.
Supplemental information on the production and trade:

If imported food or feed contains more than one percent biotech content, each shipment must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a competent government agency stating that the GE ingredient (s) used in the foodstuff is/are approved in the country of origin for human or animal consumption.

The following link provide all information about the requirements for importing GM food:

https://www.sfda.gov.sa/en/food/about/administration/mangement_food/Pages/EDOIFC-FoodImportReq.aspx

LLP/AP incidents
LLP/AP incidents:
My country does not monitor LLP/AP situations.
Supplemental information on the LLP/AP incidents:
Labelling requirement
Labelling requirement:
My country has a mandatory and positive labeling regulation on GM food (i.e., It contains GMO).
Supplemental information on the Labelling requirement:

If a product contains one or more GE plant ingredients with more than one percent GE content, the words (genetically modified) or (produced from genetically modified, name of the ingredients) shall appear clearly and easily to read in parentheses immediately following the ingredient(s) concerned, with same font size and different color. The GSO  regulations do not allow imports of foodstuffs that contain GE animal products.

Relevant links to documents and information prepared by the competent authority responsible for the safety assessment
Other relevant documents:
Country information last modified:
15/04/2018