This report updates the 2019 Agricultural Biotechnology Annual Report. The U.S. exported over $1.8 billion in genetically engineered (GE) products to Indonesia in 2019, including more than $860 million of soybeans. Despite completing biosafety assessments for various GE products, Indonesia has yet to finalize monitoring guidelines for GE crops that would allow for full domestic commercial cultivation. A recently developed “Road Map for Genetically Engineered Products”, led by the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, has established research and production goals for GE varieties of several staple crops including corn, sugar cane, potato, soybean and rice.
In the past year, there have been no major changes in Kazakhstan’s biotechnology policy. Kazakhstan continues to rely on Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) regulations for guidance on biotechnology issues. Genetically engineered (GE) seeds are currently only permitted to be grown in laboratories. Despite success by Kazakhstani researchers in developing new GE varieties, the Government of Kazakhstan shows little interest in developing new regulations more favorable to biotechnology at this time.
Singapore does not have any domestic commercial production of plant biotechnology. As of October 2020, a total of 43 genetically engineered (GE) plant products have been approved for use as food or food ingredients in the country (an increase of two compared to the same time the previous year). Singapore’s Genetic Modification Advisory Committee (GMAC) recently revised its regulations on stacked events to adopt the “high covers low” approach which exempts higher order combinations of stacked events from regulatory assessment if they are derived from prior GMAC-endorsed lower order combinations.
Transgenic seed varieties have been grown in Costa Rica since 1992. All of the seeds are exported to the United States. Costa Rica has implemented legislation to regulate the import and cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) crops. There is currently no requirement that foods containing GE components be labeled. The Costa Rican National Technical Biosafety Commission (NTBC) has been meeting regularly this year and has approved several cotton events for seed reproduction.
Guatemala´s regulation allowing applications to approve biotech seeds for cultivation entered into force on October 1, 2019. Anti-biotech activists filed a court case in opposition to the regulations on November 29, 2019 at the Court of Constitution (CC) which, after a virtual public hearing on September 11 of 2020, is expected to issue a final resolution sometime in 2021.
On October 1, 2020 Guatemala and Honduras opened peripheral customs that allow commercial exchange of agricultural biotechnology. On September 29, 2020 the first application for experimental stage field testing of a Black Sigatoka-resistant GMO banana was submitted to the National Committee on Biotechnology and Biosecurity (NCBB). Honduras has had biotechnology regulations and a NCBB since 1998, and as of September 2020, had more than 38,000 hectares of GE corn production, a small increase compared to 2019
This report assesses the agricultural biotechnology sector in the Netherlands, and covers related production, trade, and policies. It includes topics related to genetic engineering and innovative plant, animal, and microbial biotechnologies. The main development is that on June 26, 2020, the Dutch Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten, informed the Dutch Parliament that the approach of the Dutch Government to reach the goals set by the European Union’s Farm to Fork Strategy is the Dutch circular agriculture model with robust crop culture systems, less dependency on pesticides, and the safe use of biotechnology. In the innovation agenda of the Dutch “Top Sector” policy, genome editing is identified as one of the key technologies that may be utilized to improve plant pest resistance and more.
The biotechnology regulatory system in Ukraine is still not fully developed, but the country has committed to shape its policy in line with European Union’s regulations. Political debate over agricultural biotechnology is active in Ukraine. Currently, there are no genetically engineered (GE) events officially approved for agricultural and food production and therefore no GE products can be legally imported into Ukraine. The Government of Ukraine does not permit cultivation of GE crops, however there are reports of illegal GE production for certain crops.
Source: USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Gain Reports