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National Regulations

Most national governments have established regulations to help ensure the safe and responsible use of new technology, including genetic modification. Not all countries have implemented these regulations, however. National biosafety regulations generally require that research and development is carried out safely, that the products are tested thoroughly before they are used. In most countries, regulatory approval is required before some biotechnology products reach the market.

The safety of products of modern biotechnology generally falls under existing animal, food and plant regulations. Many countries have additional, specific biosafety regulations to ensure risk assessment reviews for genetically modified organisms and some countries include a socio-economic review to identify any social or economic risk that may result from the use of new products.

The wide range of products derived from genetic modification means that many government agencies are involved in safety assessments and approvals. For example, agricultural agencies review plant and animal safety; health agencies regulate food and medicine safety; environmental agencies review environmental impact; trade and industry agencies monitor economic impact; forestry agencies review the impact of genetically modified trees and tree products, etc.

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