Egypt hosts one of the oldest agricultural communities in the world and is among the centers of origin/diversity for important crop plants. In its quest for increasing food production, overcoming significant constrains of agricultural productivity and releasing pressure on natural ecosystems, the country embarked on the development and application of relevant biotechnologies as well as acquisition of biotechnologies and biotechnology products developed elsewhere. This induced the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MOALR) to issue two Ministerial Decrees, namely
• the Ministerial Decree No. 85 (January 25, 1995) establishing a Biosafety Committee (BC) to regulate the research and contained field testing, introduction, and release of crop plants developed through modern biotechnology and
• Ministerial Decree No. 136 (February 7, 1995) which adopted the guidelines on the structure, composition, roles, and responsibilities of the NBC and the establishment of Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBC).
Egypt's National Biosafety Committee is the official body responsible for ensuring that biotechnology products are used safely in research laboratories and contained trials.. The Chair, the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation , appoints members of the NBC. The initial committee consisted of 10 members; subsequent appointments have expanded it to 30. Current members include: seven representatives, in personal capacity, from the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Environment, Industry, and Commerce, the Egyptian Academy of Science and Technology; 12 members from academic institutions; an attorney; eight people from government research institutes; and a seeds expert. Based on area of expertise, members are appointed to one of three subcommittees specializing in agriculture (crops), environment (bio-pesticides, bio-fertilizers, agents for bioremediation), and health (pharmaceuticals, human and veterinary vaccines) but these subcommittees hardly hold any activities or meet. The NBC meet regularly and on the average meets about once a month
are to be composed of people with expertise in r-DNA technology, biological safety and physical containment, policies and applicable law, and a biological safety officer (BSO). The BSO reports to the IBC regarding follow-up duties, which include enforcing approved policies and regulations; ensuring that all facility standards are rigorously followed; ensuring safety of all facility work and prevention of the accidental escape of GMOs; maintaining data on all aspects of biosafety related to mandated crops; checking and advising on biosafety issues on a day-to-day basis; and monitoring worldwide biosafety requirements for r-DNA technology. In practice, BSOs rarely communicate with the NBC.
INSTITUTIONAL BIOSAFETY COMMITTEE (IBC)
The Institutional Biosafety Committee is charged with reviewing all registrations for research, teaching, and training that involve the use of recombinant DNA (rDNA) and Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules at AGERI and for ensuring that the proposed activities comply with local regulations and institute policies governing these activities.
The Institutional Biosafety Committee is constituted in accordance with the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Research involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules-Revised March 1995, where members are appointed by the institute director. The Institutional Biosafety Committee generally meets once per month, as needed to review registrations proposing use of recombinant DNA.
The purpose of this document is to provide details of the responsibilities, scope of authority and
Structure of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).
The mission of the Institutional Biosafety Committee is to:
- ensure that all recombinant DNA research activities at the Rochester Institute of
Technology comply with Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (hereinafter termed “NIH Guidelines”).
- ensure that protocols of all research undertaken at AGERI which use or produce biohazardous organisms requiring Biological Safety Level 2 (BSL2) or higher precautions, including but not limited to recombinant DNA, are reviewed and found to protect personnel, the environment and public safety by complying with the applicable NIH Guidelines.
3. INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
It is the responsibility of AGERI to ensure that the IBC remains active to carry out its mission.
4. INSTITUTIONAL OFFICIAL
The Institutional Official charged with the responsibility of ensuring that research conducted at
Or sponsored by AGERI fully conforms to the provision of the NIH Guidelines.
5. IBC RESPONSIBILITY
5.1 The IBC is responsible for reviewing research conducted at or sponsored by AGERI for compliance with:
- NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules
- CDC/NIH Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories
- AGERI institutional policies and procedures
- The IBC is responsible for approving safety codes in any research projects, which are found to conform to the above regulations and guidelines.