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Mandatory Biotechnology R&D Safety Guidelines Published

New guidelines designed to regulate biotechnology-related R&D came into effect as of 12 July 2017. Introduced by Ministry of Science and Technology, the Measures for the Safety Management of Biotechnology Research and Development divide all such R&D activities into three bands depending on their level of perceived risk.

1) High Risk

This category is reserved for any and all biotechnology R&D activities deemed as  representing a threat of serious illness to humans or animals or likely to cause sustained damage to important agricultural / forest crops, Chinese medicinal herbs or the overall environment.

2) Fairly High Risk

Any biotechnology R&D activities deemed at risk of promoting the spread of disease among humans or animals, but not likely to constitute a serious hazard to humans, animals, important agricultural / forest crops, Chinese medicinal herbs or the overall environment under normal circumstances will be allocated to this category.

3) Average Risk

R&D activities allocated to this lowest level will be deemed to represent no serious risk to humans, animals, important agricultural / forest crops, Chinese medicinal herbs or the overall environment under normal circumstances.

In line with these new regulations, the relevant departments of all local governments must formulate safety management codes for all biotechnology R&D activities undertaken within their particular administrative regions and also conduct any required safety management work. The principal responsibility for ensuring that all such biotechnology R&D activities are conducted in a safe and compliant manner, however, will fall to those individuals or organisations with legal responsibility for conducting such activities.

Should overall biological safety be compromised on account of such individuals / organisations having failed to comply with the required safety management codes or having failed to deal with the aftermath of any such occurrence in a timely and effective manner or having tried to cover up the true details of any such incident, it will then be incumbent on the relevant State Council or local government department to decide on the appropriate course of action.

For further details (in Chinese), please refer to the following website:

Measures for the Safety Management of Biotechnology Research and Development

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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