The development of new biotechnological breeding methods is progressing steadily and is the subject of social, political and legal discussions. The cultivation and placing on the market of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are strictly regulated in the EU and in Germany. Under European law, whether GMOs – at present particularly plants - can be released for experimental purposes or approved for cultivation and/or use as food and feed is linked to a detailed assessment of the potential risks to humans and the environment. The question of general risks and legal considerations also arises in the case of new technical developments.
The particular competence of the Institute for Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology lies in the fact that our work links the legally based obligations and policy advice with our own research. The research topics of the Institute are mainly derived from the Gene Technology Act and the requirements of current biotechnological developments.
For example, the Institute is involved in the approval procedure for the release and placing on the market of genetically modified plants (GM plants) in Europe and is active in national and international committees for the safety evaluation of GM plants.
The Institute monitors, investigates and evaluates developments in plant biotechnology in order to assess potential environmental impacts with regard to agricultural practice. The Institute's work focuses on risk assessment, risk management and impact assessment of biotechnological methods in plants. Strategic research goals include early recognition of technological developments and understanding of the basic processes, efficient and transparent procedures for risk- and impact assessment, and the development of suitable management concepts.
For this purpose, the Institute maintains intensive national and international research collaborations.