GM insect pests under the Brazilian regulatory framework: development and perspectives

Andrade, P. P., M. A. da Silva Ferreira, M. S. Muniz and A. de Casto Lira-Neto,  BMC Proceedings,  12:15. 2018.

The emergence of new technologies for genetic modification has broadened the range of possible new products. The regulations of many countries that could benefit from these new products may not be prepared to assess risks and enable science-based decision-making. This is especially acute in the case of genetically modified insects with potential use in public health and agriculture. Modifications of the regulatory framework, sometimes necessary to allow a proper risk assessment of products from new technologies, are strongly influenced by political decisions derived from the balance of power and interest among stakeholders. This article discusses the genesis of the Brazilian regulatory framework, its applicability for the risk assessment of genetically modified insects and the scenarios that have shaped the two biosafety laws that established the basis for the use of modern biotechnology in the country. It is concluded that, for the adoption of the new technologies, it is important to carefully navigate the political tensions by seeking the engagement and empowerment of stakeholders supporting science-based decision-making in order to gather the necessary support for adoption of risk assessment as the basis for final decisions, allowing the use of new technologies.