About the Global Alliance for Ag Biotech Trade (GAABT)
The Global Alliance for Ag Biotech Trade is a farm to fork industry coalition that brings together different parts of the agricultural value chain. Working together, we encourage the development of trade policies that facilitate the movement of seed, grain and processing ingredients, and reduce the potential for trade disruptions.
The Alliance includes stakeholders from grower and producer groups, grain and feed handlers, food and seed industries, and technology providers.
Current participating organizations include:
The Alliance seeks practical solutions to agriculture biotechnology trade-related issues, especially that of asynchronous approvals and low-level presence (LLP).
These solutions should:
- Prevent trade disruption by supporting a proactive approach.
- Be predictable, efficient and achievable for all stakeholders, including governments and industry.
- Be enforceable by government authorities.
- Be amenable to specific thresholds that are realistic, practical and based on the realities of grain handling practices and international trade.
- Be comprehensive in scope, covering products developed and marketed in any country, including products intended for FFP, and both private and public sector traits.
- Be transparent, providing safety assurance to the public.
Additionally, practical LLP solutions for FFP should be based on the following principles:
- Zero presence of commercialized agricultural biotech-derived products in global trade is not practical or achievable due to underlying biological realities, production constraints and commodity handling systems.
- The very definition of LLP includes only products that have already passed a safety assessment by at least one regulatory authority according to the Codex Plant Guideline, thereby reinforcing the fact that products detected as LLP are safe for food and feed purposes.
- Food and feed safety assessments should be science-based.
- Application of LLP solutions is temporary and hence does not replace the goal of obtaining full approval for imports of FFP.
- Risk management approaches should be proportionate to risk.
- Existing national legal frameworks and sovereign authority of individual governments should be respected.
Solutions should be compatible with international standards and agreements.
- Importing and exporting governments should work together to harmonize agricultural biotechnology policies and synchronize trait approvals for FFP.
- Information related to the commercial and regulatory status of agricultural biotechnology traits should be publicly available, comprehensive and up-to-date.
In the mid-2000s, when it became clear that LLP was becoming a significant trade issue, members of the agricultural value chain recognized the need for coordination around LLP, particularly at the international level. CropLife International formed the Global Adventitious Presence Coalition (GAPC) to bring together several organizations with the common goal of proactively increasing awareness of the trade issue within the international community, and to drive international policy developments on LLP.
In the mid-2000s, when it became clear that LLP was becoming a significant trade issue, members of the agricultural value chain recognized the need for coordination around LLP, particularly at the international level.
In recognition of developments at the global level, the GAPC has evolved into the Global Alliance for Ag Biotech Trade (GAABT). Today this work continues through the Alliance, whose name reflects the shift in focus. The Alliance has largely the same participant base as GAPC, with the addition of several producer and commodity groups across multiple countries.
The GAABT is internationally focused and has a close links to national teams worldwide, including members of the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) and other grain trade organizations. It also has engagement from producer groups, and maintains a focus on parallel trade policy development efforts in both grain and seed.
Activities & Management
Participants in the Alliance work together on a variety of activities to support our policy goal of safe and efficient trade in agriculture biotechnology commodities. These include:
- Participation in policy dialogues and international meetings to develop consensus on trade issues, including the FAO’s Technical Consultation on Low Levels of Genetically Modified Crops in International Food and Feed Trade (March 2014) and the Global LLP Initiative, a government-led initiative to develop a harmonized approach or set of approaches to address LLP at the global level (2013-2014)
- Development of briefing papers and other resource materials to review and analyze issues related to biotechnology trade
- Sharing our views with stakeholders through in-person, written and online communications
- Supporting capacity development to facilitate development of science-based regulatory policies and training to facilitate the use of existing safety assessments and resource
The Alliance is managed by CropLife International, the global federation representing the plant biotechnology developers. Sarah Lukie serves as the Executive Secretary.