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The Chair asked for additional comments before turning to the adoption of the Report of the Working Group.

AUSTRALIA asked for information on the existing international framework of agreements related to biosafety, and on how the protocol would interact with these. He suggested that the Secretariat undertake a study of this, and offered to share the results of a study his government is currently undertaking.

The EU reiterated that the definition of transboundary movement and of LMOs resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on biodiversity are important elements of a protocol. He also called for classification of LMOs into risk categories with varying levels of risk management, and suggested these categories be elaborated in an annex to the protocol. While no scientific assessment has shown that LMOs will behave identically in all environments, risk can be estimated based on categories of environments and intended uses. He emphasized that the protocol should only cover risks to the environment, taking human health into account.

The FAO elaborated on several biosafety documents prepared or under preparation and related to use or modification of genetic resources. He offered FAO’s collaboration with the CBD Secretariat on biosafety.

The EUROPEAN COMMUNITY elaborated upon: transboundary movement, which he classified into intended and unintended movement; contained use of LMOs, which does not require additional administrative requirements; the definition of LMOs, which should reflect existing international definitions such as the UNEP or EU Guidelines; human health and the environment; and RAM, which requires access to information.

MALAYSIA outlined a request for a paper on socioeconomic considerations for a protocol. The paper should: classify LMOs and their products; examine the impact on developing countries of substitution of agricultural products through biotechnology; examine the impact of biotechnology and IPR on access to landraces by farmers and on the flow of royalties and other income; assess environmental impacts of release of LMOs, particularly in centres of origin/diversity; and examine the relationship between these considerations and liability and compensation.

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