Biosafety Regulation: Lessons from Kenya and the Philippines

  • Published 26/11/10

Both Kenya and the Philippines have been regarded as ‘test cases’ for biotechnology and biosafety regulatory development in their respective regions. Biosafety and its regulation has become the lightning rod for debates about the governance of transgenic (GM) crops in developing countries. This focus has tended to narrow policy debates about agricultural biotechnology to the control and management of physical risk. Questions about which technologies are most appropriate, or how to manage their socioeconomic impacts, tend to be sidelined.

The STEPS Centre conducted research between 2007 and 2010 on biosafety regulation in Argentina, China, Kenya and the Philippines. In November 2010 we convened a workshop in Nairobi to provide a forum for regulators and other stakeholders from the Philippines and Kenya to share lessons in biosafety regulation. This briefing draws on the research to outline challenges for Kenya and other countries moving to implement legislation on biotechnology.