are to benefit from the many potential advantages of GM technology, it will be important to promote capacity building in risk management. In order to be effective, the following objectives must be included:

  1. Build sufficient scientific and technical human resources in each country to enable it to assess the relative benefits and the risks of GM technology;

  2. Strengthen local and global infrastructure;

  3. Monitor and evaluate the short-, mid- and long-term effects of transgenic plants and share data between all relevant countries;

  4. Develop simple techniques to readily and reliably distinguish non-transgenic and transgenic plants where necessary.

We recommend that: (i) national governments ensure that endogenous capacities are built up to facilitate the implementation of biosafety guidelines or regulations; (ii) the safe development, transfer and application of biotechnology require that nations develop and/or strengthen policies, facilities, information systems, and training in biotechnology (including risk-assessment, risk-management and biosafety procedures); (iii) nations involved in the development, use, release or production of transgenic plants should have the means to assess and manage the potential risks and the benefits; (iv) as considered in the recently agreed UN Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, an overarching body should maintain and disseminate a public database that includes all newly released varieties and their performance in different environments.

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