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The Regulatory Status of Genome Editing Technology in Thailand


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The Regulatory Status of Genome Editing Technology in Thailand by Dr. Piyarat Thammakijjawat during the Regional Expert Consultation on Gene Editing in Agriculture and its Regulations Technical Session II

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The Regulatory Status of Genome Editing Technology in Thailand

  1. 1. T H E R E G U L AT O R Y S TAT U S O F G E N O M E E D I T I N G T E C H N O L O G Y I N T H A I L A N D Regional Expert Consultation on Gene Editing in Agriculture and its Regulation Date: October 10-11, 2019 ICRISAT, Patancheru, Hyderabad, India Dr. Piyarat Thammakijjawat Senior Agricultural Scientist, Biotechnology Research and Development Office, Department of Agriculture
  2. 2. GMO REGULATIONS IN THAILAND • Thailand signed the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety on 10 November 2005 The agreement entered into force on 8 February 2006. • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), has been nominated as the National Focal Point.
  3. 3. Thailand currently has no specific law regulating LMOs. • MONRE is in the process of enacting a specific law that details provisions for working with LMOs. By drafting Biodiversity Act with article to ensure appropriate handling of organisms including LMOs. There are existing legislations and guidelines to regulate the activities of LMOs as follows;
  4. 4. 1. Living Modified (LM) Plants Plant Quarantine Act, B.E. 2507 (B.E. 1952) amended (No.2) B.E. 2542 (1999) and (No.3) B.E. 2551 (2008). The purpose of the Act is to control and prevent any possible adverse effects on the environment or human health from the introduction of plants, plant pests and carriers. The Act provides specifications and criteria for notification of LM plants as prohibited materials. Exempts the importation of LM plants for research purposes in compliance with the Notification of DOA on Guidelines. The Notification establishes a step-by-step approach for the importation of LM plants that complies with the Advance Informed Agreement (AIA) procedure of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
  5. 5. 2. Living Modified (LM) Microorganisms Microorganisms are regulated by the Pathogen and Animal Toxin Act B.E. 2558 (2015), which is administered by the Department of Medical Science (DMSC), Ministry of Public Health (MOPH). The Act regulates production, import, export, sale, transit or possession of both LM and non-LM pathogens. The use of LM microorganisms is regulated by the voluntary Biosafety Guidelines for Contained Use of Genetically Modified Microorganisms (GMMs). The objective of these guidelines is to provide guidance for the contained use of GMMs at the pilot and industrial scales to ensure safety to operators, the community, and the environment.
  6. 6. 3. Living Modified (LM) Animals Aquatic animals are regulated by the Emergency Decree on Fisheries B.E. 2558 (2015), which is administrated by the Department of Fisheries (DOF), MOAC. However, the Decree does not specifically control LM aquatic animals
  7. 7. • The draft of Biodiversity Act, the core of biological diversity for sample access and benefit sharing of genetic resources as well as invasive alien species (IAS) to provide the effective framework that relevant the three objectives of the CBD, 1. The conservation of biodiversity, 2. The sustainable use of the component of biodiversity 3. The fair and equitable sharing of benefit arising of the utilization of genetic resources. Draft National Biodiversity Law
  8. 8. Synthetic biology regulations in Thailand Thailand recognizes the importance of new plant breeding technology. The technical biosafety committee (TBC) organized the meeting with researchers and inspectors to discuss and brainstorm on preparation of synthetic biology data on 2nd April 2018 and 7th January 2019. Department of Agriculture organized seminar under topic Synthetic Biology, Modern Biotechnology for Plant Breeding and Guideline for regulations on 14 July 2017 and 11 February 2019.
  9. 9. • At present, most existing laws that regulate LMOs do not have clearly defined definitions for “LMOs”, “modern biotechnology” and “synthetic biology”. • As a party of both CBD and CP, Thailand has set up the National legislation to comply with the international agreement. Synthetic biology regulations in Thailand For research purpose: Thailand regulate research using synthetic biology based on the biosafety guidelines for modern biotechnology.
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