Food safety and quality
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Focal Point Information

Organization/agency name (Full name):
Department of Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health
Contact person name:
Dr. Sabei Htet Htet Htoo
Physical full address:
Building (601), Room (33), Narwayat Street, Bawgatheitdi Quarter, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
Phone number:
95 9 2019071
Fax number:
95 67 403467
Country introduction

Myanmar, located in the western portion of mainland Southeast Asia. It is the second largest country in Southeast Asia with a total land area of 676,578 square kilometers with fertile tropical deltas in the south and a rugged landscape in the Himalayan foothills of the north. It shares borders with 40% of the world’s population - to the north and northeast with the China, to the east and southeast with Lao and Thailand, and to the west and northwest with Bangladesh and India.  Myanmar’s 2,800 kilometer coastline provides access to sea routes and deep-sea ports. The country is rich in natural resources including arable land, forests, minerals, natural gas, and freshwater and marine resources. The economy is dominated by agriculture and farm-related activities.

Myanmar, which relies on agriculture sector, recognizes the agricultural development while enhancing socio-economic development with appropriate agronomic techniques and modern crop varieties. Applied research works on biotechnology are being done in Myanmar in the laboratories under the Department of Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Department of Agricultural Research, Yezin Agricultural University, forest research division under Department of Forestry at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, Department of Biotechnological Research (Kyaukse), Kyaukse Technological University, Department of Biotechnology (Mandalay), Yangon University at the Ministry of Education, Food and Drug Administration and Department of Medical Research at the Ministry of Health and Sports. Moreover, biotechnology is used in manufacturing vaccines, in detecting various diseases of fish and animals, in pathological laboratories for diagnosis and in the development of plant variety. Plant Biotechnology Center under Department of Agriculture carries out to detect the materials whether they are genetically modified crops or not and to issue certificates regarding import/export businesses by using biotechnology.

GMO crops are expected to be benefited in many ways such as higher crop yields, reduced farm costs, increased farm profits, increased nutritional traits and improved environment as well. However, in the absence of proper management of technical control of the GMO product, GMO products may become invasive weeds or that the transmission of introduced DNA may pollute and harm biological diversity. While Myanmar has potential benefit from growing GM crops (Bt cotton) there might be some adverse effects on human health and environment if not properly monitored or controlled technically. With recognition of risk associated with the GMO products, the Government of the Union of Myanmar has initiated and drafted the Bio Safety framework. However, the capacity to effective biological safeguarding and ecological resources against with the GM crops are limited and unable to adapt internationally accepted guideline. Hence, improper use and proper technological control, there are potential risk on human health and environment, which essentially called for capacity building on risk assessment, risk management and analysis for safe transfer of this GMO products in Myanmar.

Although Myanmar does not have comprehensive biosafety legislation, the final version of the National Biosafety Framework is completed and pending approval, and the Biosafety Guidelines are in the final stages of development.

Regulatory framework:
My country does not have a regulatory framework that requires the competent authority to conduct safety assessment of GM food.
Structure for GM food safety assessment:
My country does not have a structure for GM food safety assessment.
Supplemental information:

In the process of developing regulation (Myanmar): Myanmar recognizes the ASEAN Guidelines on Risk Assessment of Agriculture-Related GMOs. Myanmar actively participated in the Meetings of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety, and other meetings organized and sponsored by the UNEP. To harmonize with international regulatory requirements for the products of modern biotechnology, the Myanmar Ambassador to the United Nations signed the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) on 11th May2001, in New York. In July 2003, Myanmar has signed a project document with &NEP-GEF to carry out the Development of National Biosafety Frame Work. The project was started in early 2004. As an outcome of the project, the third draft of national biosafety framework was completed in 2008.

According to national biosafety framework, a National Coordinating Committee (NCC) was formed with 15 members from 10 ministries and from the Justice Department and the Office of Attorney General, The NCC has appointed three responsible persons as full-time National Project Coordinators (NPC) each from the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Ministry of Forestry and Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Breeding.

Myanmar is currently in the stage of drafting Biosafety law.



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 and we do not plan to develop any guidelines for GM food safety assessment.
Conduct of GM food safety assessment:
My country has never conducted safety assessment of GM food and will not (be able to) conduct such assessment in the near future.
Supplemental information on the implementation:
Stacked events
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:
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 does not have any labeling regulations/policies 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
Other relevant documents:
Country information last modified: