Capacity Building on Regulation of Import, Contained Use and Release of Genetically Modified Plants and Plant Material (TCP/MAL/2901)
FAO Contribution: US$ 156 000
Lead Technical Unit: SDRR
Duration: 9 months
The Malaysia Government is well aware of the potential benefits and of the need to assure the safety of Genetically Modified (GM) crops. Biosafety Legislation has been drafted and is currently being examined by the Parliament. Nevertheless, GM technology is relatively new to the country and efforts to strengthen the country's capacity in the safe handling and assessment of GM products is required. For example, the first generation of GM papaya (virus resistant and with extended shelf life) is now ready for field trials and its safety must be evaluated before release. In Malaysia, technical expertise in the detection of GM plants and plant materials is currently inadequate to undertake related tasks.
The general objective of the project is to strengthen the national capacity on regulation of import, contained use and release into the environment of GM plants or plant materials.
The project provided the services of two international consultants (one person/month each) and five FAO partnership programme experts (1.5 person/months each). In addition, the project provided for FAO advisory and supervisory technical services including field missions, official travel, training and general as well as direct operating expenses. Training at different levels was delivered to personnel of regulatory bodies and research institutes, including:
- a residential course (ten days) on biosafety,
- a practical course (one week) on qualitative and quantative methods of GMO detection,
- a hands-on course (one week) on risk assessment of GMOs,
- development of technical guidelines for risk assessment of GMOs,
- a study tour for Advanced GMO Detection and Quantification Training.
As a result, the national capacity in handling of GM plants and plant materials has been strengthened and the collaboration among different governmental bodies strongly improved.