Title: Proceedings of the Expert Panel Meeting on the Potential Risks Associated with Horizontal Gene Transfer from Novel Aquatic Organisms
Authors: RICE JakeSALYERS AbigailSMALLA KorneliaVAN DEN EEDE GUYWACKERNAGEL W.LANDIS WayneHACKETT PerryGREER CharlesDEVLIN Robert
Citation: Proceedings of the Expert Panel Meeting on the Potential Risks Associated with Horizontal Gene Transfer from Novel Aquatic Organisms vol. Proceedings Series 2006/036 p. 1-52
Publisher: Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat
Publication Year: 2007
JRC Publication N°: JRC37056
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC37056
Type: Contributions to Conferences
Abstract: Under the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms) (NSNR, Organisms) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), research and development (R&D) involving animate products of biotechnology is exempt from regulatory notification if there is no release of the living organism, material from the organism involved in toxicity, or genetic material from the organism. This exemption is currently being reviewed by Environment Canada and Health Canada. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) administers the NSNR for aquatic organisms with novel traits on behalf of Environment Canada and Health Canada. This includes the conduct of assessments of potential risks to the environment and human health of aquatic organisms with novel traits. In addition, DFO is developing new regulations specific to novel aquatic organisms. The potential risk associated with horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of genetic material from aquatic organisms with novel traits is an issue that requires consideration in the design of these regulations. To address this, Fisheries and Oceans Canada commissioned a literature review and discussion document of the persistence of DNA in the environment, mechanisms for HGT, known occurrence of HGT, and potential risks associated with HGT. A scientific panel of experts was convened to address specific questions, based on the discussion document, on potential risks associated with HGT. This report summarizes the considerations and output from the expert panel and will be used to inform the regulatory amendment and the development of new regulations for novel aquatic organisms. Horizontal gene transfer is a very rare event that is more likely between prokaryotes than between eukaryotes or eukaryotes and prokaryotes. The potential consequences of HGT are important. Case-by-case evaluation of potential consequences of HGT from novel organisms will help to identify what further information may be required to complete an environmental risk assessment. This tiered approach will ensure that the allocation of risk management is in line with potential identified risks.
JRC Institute:Institute for Health and Consumer Protection

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