Biosafety is the prevention of large-scale loss of biological integrity, focusing both on ecology and human health. Biosafety is used to protect human being and environment from harmful incidents that may occur due to various uses of the products derived from modern biotechnology. A general definition of “biosafety” encompasses the practices, procedures, and use of equipment needed to ensure adequate safety conditions in all facilities that work with genetically modified plants or animals, potentially infectious microorganisms and other biological hazards. All of these facilities must seek to reduce the risks associated with handling potential biological hazards by employing a continuous process of hazard identification, risk assessment, and hazard mitigation or risk management.
The biosafety aspects that may generate from the uses of the products of modern biotechnology is an issue of growing international concern due to the need to protect human health and the environment from possible adverse effects. However it is also important to recognize modern biotechnology has tremendous potential for the well-being of the world particularly in meeting the impending needs of improved and value added agricultural crops, food products, medicine, industry and environment. As a result of these concerns the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) to the convention on biological diversity was adopted in Montreal on the 29th January 2000 at an extraordinary meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety makes provisions to regulate, manage or control risks associated with transfer, handling and use of organisms and derived products resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity focusing on their trans-boundary movement.
The Government of Bangladesh has recognized the potential of biotechnology that must be fully exploited while taking into account the possible impact on human health and the environment. Despite its potential for addressing agricultural, environmental and health issues, the need to detect and to protect humans and other natural resources from possible adverse effects of modern biotechnology have made it an issue of growing international concern. The use of genetic modification therefore must be weighed against all known and unknown risks, and overall, must be judicious. An appropriate regulatory framework which provides for credible and effective safeguards must be sustainable and consistently applied across relevant sectors and which must be practical to implement is thus the only prudent means of maximizing the benefits of biotechnology while minimizing the risks through ensuring biosafety. Recognizing the importance of Biotechnology in the country, Government has adopted National Biotechnology Policy and has taken initiative to address Biosafety issues of Modern biotechnology.
The country vision of Biosafety is to ensure appropriate level of protection to biological diversity and human and animal health from the adverse impacts of the use of modern biotechnology.