The assessment of biological risks associated with the use of pathogens and/or recombinant DNA techniques has taken shape through different periods in recent history and through different fields (see also section "Historical Background"). From the Asilomar Conference to the OECD Blue Book, going through the American guidelines, it has led to the adoption of internationally accepted methodology and principles. These were translated in the early 1990s in the European Union (EU) into a legally binding biosafety regulatory framework.
- The EU regulatory framework on biosafety : A comprehensive list of the current and previous legal texts concerning biosafety at European level
These EU legislations form the basis of the implementation of biosafety in Belgium. In a complex institutional context, Belgium has chosen to set up a biosafety regulatory framework harmonised between the Federal State and the three Regions and consistent on the scientific viewpoint, in which all living organisms (pathogenic and/or genetically modified) which may pose a risk to human health and the environment are taken into consideration. This framework relies on a biological risk assessment system common to the Federal State and to the Regions and is composed of two bodies: The Biosafety Advisory Council (BAC) and the Service Biosafety and Biotechnology (SBB) of Sciensano.
- The implementation of biosafety in Belgium : A description of the current regulatory framework (institutions and legislation) concerning biosafety, including some historical background
Since it emerged across the Atlantic in the 1970s, the topic of biosafety has become firmly established on the international scene. It is now on the agenda of numerous official organisations where it is addressed from various angles. The SBB plays a key role in the scientific representation of Belgium at the European and international level
- => Go to the "About SBB" section for more information.