The Plant Biosafety Office represents Government of Canada interests in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Biotechnology Regulatory Harmonization program, along with representation from Environment Canada and Health Canada. Canada continues to take an active role in a number of projects within this OECD working group.
International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO)
The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) is an international agreement the aim of which is to prevent and/or control the introduction and spread of plant pests and invasive plants. The North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) is a regional plant protection organization of the IPPC. One of its mandates is to develop regional phytosanitary measures between Canada, the United States and Mexico. NAPPO's Regional Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (RSPM) No. 14 deals with importation of transgenic plants into NAPPO member countries. The Plant Biosafety Office participates in the NAPPO Biotechnology Panel which works to develop standards on the importation of transgenic plants.
The North American Biotechnology Initiative (NABI) provides a trilateral forum for high-level policy dialogue pertaining to issues related to agricultural biotechnology. The Plant Biosafety Office participates in the Regulatory Working Group within NABI. The mandate of this Working Group is to provide a forum for exchanging information among members, and promotion of the development of innovative and cooperative approaches to regulation of products of agricultural biotechnology. Biotechnology regulators from NABI member countries Canada, Mexico, and the US meet every 9-12 months.
The Plant Biosafety Office supports the Government of Canada leads, Environment Canada and Foreign Affairs and International Trade, in their involvement in the negotiations of the Cartegena Protocol. Canada's principle objective remains to develop a practical and effective agreement that will achieve its environmental objectives.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) on regulatory cooperation in the area of agricultural biotechnology was signed in July 2006 between the CFIA and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. This work was initiated to allow bilateral discussions on regulatory and technical issues related to the safe trade of agricultural products of biotechnology.
Canada and the United States continue to work closely together on international harmonization activities. The Plant Biosafety Office plays a role in representing the Government of Canada's interests in Canada-US bilateral relations in bilateral agreements on agricultural biotechnology:
- 2001 Bilateral Agreement on Agricultural Biotechnology (Library and Archives Canada - Government of Canada Web Archive)
- 1998 Bilateral Agreement on Agricultural Biotechnology (Library and Archives Canada - Government of Canada Web Archive)
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