June 23, 2021

Cartagena Protocol Can Help Judge Risks of New Biotech: Brief | News | SDG Knowledge Hub

A policy brief by Elsa Tsioumani explains why biotechnology is the subject of polarized debate regarding its potential benefits and risks, after emerging on the international agenda in the 1980s. The brief is part of the ‘Still Only One Earth’ series from IISD, being published in the lead-up to the 50th anniversary of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. 

Tsioumani highlights a legal protocol established in 2000 in a “significant achievement in international law,” the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Biosafety refers to protecting human health and the environment when managing organisms and genetic material, including related to possible adverse effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and biotechnology.

As more genetically modified crops, insects, and fish are being developed, the Protocol…

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