EUROPEAN-SEED.COM I EUROPEAN SEED I 19 session for 50 secretary generals of national and regional seed associations. Delivered by two BBC media trainers, the session included practical tasks on message mapping and interview skills. Since the launch, ISF has continued to work closely with ASTA, ESA and CLI on a coordinated effort across national and interna- tional networks to promote consistency. This has worked particularly well across social media with the amplification of common messages, and the cross-promotion of the ASTA and ESA campaigns. MK: In terms of engagement and cooperation, in December 2017, ISF together with the Chinese National Seed Association and the Chinese Seed Trade Association, organized an interna- tional workshop on gene editing in Beijing. The 80 participants included government representatives from China, representa- tives of the Chinese and international seed sectors, and public researchers from China and overseas. The workshop facilitated http://www.worldseed.org/our-work/ plant-breeding/plant-breeding-innovation/ WHAT’S NEW IN SOUTH AMERICA? Argentina introduced the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology in 1991. The regulatory framework for GMO consists of regulations issued by the Secretariat of Agriculture, or more recently by the Secretariat of Bio-economy. The commercial release of a GMO is granted by the Secretary based on three independent reviews: Biotechnology Directorate supported by the National Advisory Commission on Agricultural Biotechnology (CONABIA), assessing biosafety of the agroecosys- tem; the National Service of Agrifood Health and Quality (SENASA), sup- ported by the Food and Feed Safety Advisory commission, assessing food and feed safety, and; the Directorate of Agricultural Markets (DMA), assessing impact on trade and production. The reg- ulatory framework was wholly revised in 2011 and it is updated on a regular basis. Argentina was the first country in the world with a regulatory framework for products derived from New Breeding Techniques (NBTs). Resolution 173/2015 was the outcome of a three-year debate into the CONABIA, which took into account NBTs and parallel discussions overseas. The Resolution does not alter the GMO regulatory framework, but rather establishes the procedure to deter- mine in which cases a crop obtained by breeding techniques involving modern biotechnology does not fall under the current biosafety regulation. Applicants must submit the case for the assess- ment of CONABIA through a Previous Consultation Stage (ICP), providing the breeding methodology used to obtain and select the crop, the new character- istic introduced, evidence of the genetic changes present in the final product, and evidence of the removal of the temporary transgene used to obtain the product (if necessary). The consultation will define whether the result of the breeding process is a new combination of genetic material. A genetic change shall be regarded as a new combination of genetic material when a stable and joint insertion of one or more genes or DNA sequences that are a part of a defined genetic construct have been introduced permanently into the plant genome. The procedure has a 60-day time limit, at the end of which the applicant receives a reply from the authorities stating whether the product described falls under the GE regulation or not. The procedure is working fine, and a number of applications have been submitted – mainly targeted genome editions – and all the responses were delivered on time. In Chile, the Agricultural and Livestock Service of Chile (SAG), an official agency dependent on the Ministry of Agriculture, determined that it is not necessary to modify the current GMO regulations, but rather has set up a mandatory consultation process to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether a particular product would fall under the current GMO regulations. During the consultation process, informa- tion provided by the developer about the biotechnological technique (method) is used, as well as the breeding scheme and the techniques used to discard the inser- tion of genetic sequences. SAG will indi- cate, within a period of 20 working days, if the product developed by any of the new biotechnological techniques (methods) of plant breeding, which is intended to be introduced into the national environment, is within or beyond the scope of the GMO regulation, which for this purpose means that the material is considered or not GMO, respectively. The current Biosafety Law in Brazil was adopted in 2005. The National Biosafety Technical Commission (CTNBio) created a working group to study new breeding tech- niques such as gene editing as they relate to the scope of current Brazilian legislation and to propose a new normative if nec- essary. The normative was approved by CTNBio and published in January this year. Now Brazil has a new normative to evaluate products generated by the latest breeding methods. The strategy of the working group was to analyze the new advances in plant improvements; to have a legal framework that allows scientific advances while also assuring safety standards; and to analyze other countries’ experiences. The focus of normative approved is that products with- out the presence of recombinant DNA/RNA in progeny or with the presence of genetic elements that can be obtained by conven- tional breeding should not be considered GMOs. Under the new consultation proce- dure developers provide information on the product, including the methods used to generate the product and showing the absence of recombinant DNA/RNA in the progeny. The way of dealing with this topic in Argentina, Chile and Brazil shows the convergence or consistency in the use of gene editing to make deletions, or other changes that do not result in a “novel genetic combination”. Both Chile and Brazil are following Argentina's criteria. Elsewhere, other countries such as Australia, South Africa and Japan, have not yet determined whether or how current domestic GMO regulations would apply to the latest breeding methods, but the ISF has a strong feeling that countries are seeing the importance of consistent regulation. To bring further clarity to the dia- logue, ISF is in the process of preparing a position paper on plant breeding inno- vation for adoption at the ISF World Seed Congress in Brisbane (3-6 June 2018). At the same time ISF is working on a set of guiding principles for information and communication that will be used for further engagement with the value chain. a dialogue on domestic and international policies and fostered understanding of the current status of public and private research. Editor’s Note: The International Seed Federation (ISF) is a non-governmental, non-profit making organization, has represented its members’ interests since 1924 and is widely regarded as the voice of the global seed industry.