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Protocols for field releases with transgenic plants
(Last revised: February 28, 2006 )

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Protocols

Protocols have been drafted for experimental releases of transgenic sugar beet, Brassica (oilseed rape, Indian mustard) and chicory (see table). In the future, protocols may be drafted for other crops (e.g. maize and potato) depending on their envisaged need.
Since their elaboration the protocols have been regularly updated and they may develop further in function of the biotechnological developments and regulatory demands.

Protocols for field releases with transgenic plants
year
PDF file
sugar beet
2002
Dutch
French
chicory
2002
Dutch
French
brassica (oilseed rape, Indian mustard)
2002-2003
Dutch
French

Objectives of the protocols

The protocols for experimental releases of genetically modified crops provide instructions on how to conduct a field trial from sowing to harvest and guidance for the follow-up of the parcels after harvest. Each field trial with transgenic crops needs to be carried out in conformity with the provisions of the protocol and on a case-by-case basis take additional specific requirements into account.

In summary the protocols prescribe that the notifier should (1) communicate on the sites of release and different operations concerning sowing, harvest, transport and analysis, and (2) keep a logbook indicating actions taken during release (e.g. that isolation distance and/or isolation borders have been respected) and after harvest (e.g. destruction of harvest and monitoring for volunteers). The actions taken should be reported every year (after harvest) to the competent authority. A final report should be submitted at the end of the trial period.

Background information

The drafting of the protocols for field releases has been initiated in 1999 under the coordination of the relevant Belgian competent authority. The work is performed by the Division of Biosafety and Biotechnology (SBB), with the assistance of external experts. The final evaluation and approval of the protocols is carried out by the Biosafety Advisory Council.

In 2002, the existing protocol for growing genetically modified Brassica has been updated with information regarding specific containment measures towards organic and conventional farmers (co-existence), nature reserves and bees and produced honey. To this end, the SBB established a Working Group gathering gathering scientists and stakeholders.
#aa0022 Report of the discussions of the Working Group (PDF File)

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