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Ukraine makes changes to the state system of biosafetyqrcode

Feb. 28, 2012

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Feb. 28, 2012
On February 23, 2012, Verkhovna Rada (The Parliament) of Ukraine adopted the Law on Amending the Law of Ukraine "On the State Biosafety System for creating, testing, transportation and use of genetically modified organisms."

The adopted amendments refer to the mechanism of control of products containing GMOs.

The objectives to be achieved with the adoption of the Act are:

• introduction of the mechanism of tracking (traceability) treatment in an open system of products containing GMOs or those produced using GMOs;
• maintenance of scientific and methodological center for GMO testing.

The law introduces requirements for business entities with the introduction into circulation of products containing GMOs or products derived from their use, as well further treatment of such products. In particular, economic entities, which introduce GMO products or products obtained with the use of GMOs into the turnover must complete a written declaration of those products. Such declaration must state that the relevant product contains GMOs or had been obtained with the use of GMOs. In addition, as any products containing GMOs or derived from their use are subject to state registration, the declaration shall contain state registration number of the product assigned by the State Register of GMOs with the name of the relevant State Register of GMOs, thus ensuring proper identification of products.

The law states that a copy of the declaration of products containing GMOs or derived from their use, shall be attached to each and any transaction for the transfer of such goods from one entity to another. The original declaration and it's copies shall be kept by business entities for the five years period since the date of transfer of products containing GMOs or derived from their use. During this period, business entities are required to maintain documentation that identifies any business entity, from which the appropriate products were obtained or to which they were transferred.

The Act also introduces a number of concepts and definitions:

1. arbitration on GMO testing - laboratory studies conducted at the request of the person who contests the results of preliminary laboratory studies;
2. reference samples of GMOs - a reference material of GMO, that is sufficiently homogeneous and is suitable to evaluate the measurement technique, or determine certain properties of the material;
3. target taxon - an isolated group of organisms to which the GMOs, which are related to each other common features and properties, resulting in such organisms can be assigned to taxonomic category;
4. transformational event - the change in the genetic material of an organism with the aid of artificial methods of gene transfer that does not occur in vivo.

The Act defined the powers of scientific and methodological center for GMO testing. Scientific and methodological center shall combine the functions of scientific and methodological coordination of testing laboratories to determine the GMO content in the product and the reference function (arbitration) laboratory in the field of GMO testing. It shall in particular:

1. provide scientific and methodological coordination of testing laboratories to determine GMO content in products;
2. provide training and reference samples, and samples of GMO taxa benchmarks in order to create their collection, storage, maintenance and provision of testing laboratories;
3. ensure the implementation of inter-laboratory comparison of results of research products to determine GMO content in it;
4. provide testing and certification in the prescribed manner of methods of identification of GMOs, including selection of samples and identification of transformation events;
conduct arbitration at the request of GMO testing a person who is appealing the results of preliminary testing of GMOs.

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