The history of biosafety

Definition of biosafety
Biosafety is a Set of strategies, policies, regulations and procedures to ensure the
use of certain benefits of molecularbiotechnology and prevent the possible
adverse effects of this technology on biodiversity and biological reserves, human
health and agriculture.
The history of biosafety
The development of biotechnology and genetic engineering on the development
of human society is undeniable, but the potential risks that may arise due to noncompliance with biosafety principles should not be ignored. So the importance of
development of biotechnology and genetic engineering activities in all aspects is
emphasized, also it is necessary to set rules for the safe conduct of such activities
in order to monitor them properly. The main goal of these rules is the application
of molecular biotechnology to ensure the biodiversity and human health.
Regarding the safety of genetic modified organisms (GMOs), in the 90s many
countries prepared regulations in the field of production, consumption,
transportation and labeling of these products. In 1995, countries as members of
the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) started negotiating various legal
agreements regarding the risks of GMOs. The most important result of these
negotiations was "Cartagena Biosafety Protocol", the legal system to ensure the
preservation and transfer of GMOs in the boundaries.
"Cartagena Biosafety Protocol" was approved on 29th of January 2000 and up to
now 163 countries are its’ members. This protocol is one of the most important
agreements of the 21st century, with 40 articles and 3 enclosures. The result from
approve of this protocol was a comprehensive legal system to ensure the
transmission, storage and the safe use of living modified organisms (LMOs) and
their products.
Islamic Republic of Iran has signed the mentioned protocol on 25th May of 2001
and this Protocol was approved by the iranian parliament on 20th August of 2003.
So, Iranian Biosafety Act including 11 articles and 7 amendments was approved
by Iran parliament and confirmed by the guardian council on 12th August of
On the basis of this act, issuing, renewal and revocation of licenses of new
biotechnology is done by the bellow following legal authorities considering their
regulations and biosafety law.
A. Ministry of Agricultural for agricultural productions and natural resources.
B. Environmental Protection Agency for wildlife and evaluation of possible
environmental risks based on scientific documents presented by the applicants.
C. Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOH) is responsible for the
issuance, renewal and revocation of any license under Article 2 of the
biosafety law on LMOs related to foods, beverages, cosmetics, medical
material and human pathogens. Also, in accordance with paragraph (b) of
Article 4 of the mentioned law responsibility of assessing and managing the
risks of LMOs for human health and food safety on the basis of scientific
documents received from applicants and also valid scientific documentations is
by MOH.
The motto of technical biosafety committee of Ministry of Health and Medical
To develop the safe use of achievements of molecular biotechnology for
preservation and promotion of public health.