Collection of Biosafety Reviews

A compilation of scientific studies on areas of major interest for biosafety and risk assessment prepared by internationally-recognised scientists. Download individual articles, arranged in volumes under broad topic areas, from this page.

The Italian Ministry for Environment, for the Protection of the Territory and the Sea  (MATTM) is the Italian Government authority responsible for the implementation of environmental policies, and is the National Competent Authority for the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment, under Legislative Decree 8 July 2003 No. 224, implementing Directive 2001/18/EC.

The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) is an international, non-profit research organisation with components in Trieste, New Delhi and Cape Town,  and provides its Member States and other countries with technical assistance and advisory services related to the safe and sustainable use of biotechnology in agriculture, and in particular to the regulation of GMOs. 

MATTM and ICGEB have been actively collaborating in biosafety capacity building activities since 2000, in the preparation for, and implementation of, MATTM’s obligations under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) which Italy ratified on 29 March 2004. The purpose of the CPB is to protect biological diversity from potential adverse effects that may be posed by GMOs. The main objective of the MATTM/ICGEB cooperation is therefore to improve individual and institutional capacity within the international community to analyse, inform and make decisions in order to reduce potential risks related to GMOs. The collaboration does so by providing scientific and technical training, developing regulatory processes, and by disseminating essential scientific and technical data. 

A key outcome of the collaboration to date has been the successful establishment of the national Biosafety Clearing House (BCH;, to assist the promotion of public awareness and the exchange of information on biosafety; this is in addition to the other collaborative activities, including the organising and hosting of biosafety training workshops, the development of key Internet-based tools and databases, and the production and dissemination of related technical and scientific material.

The Collection of Biosafety Reviews is a practical example of a dissemination tool developed as a result of the collaboration, and is freely-available for download from the webpages of both the ICGEB and the Ministry of Environment. The Collection has been published since 2003, and comprises articles authored by internationally-recognised scientists and experts, and which provide state-of-the-art knowledge and approaches in the field of biosafety, GMO regulation and risk assessment.