Gene-edited crops and food are regulated as conventional plants unless they contain foreign DNA, after a dossier is submitted to determine if they are exempt. Gene edited crops are assessed on a case-by-case basis by the National Commission on Agricultural and Forestry Biosafety.
In 2018, Paraguay and 12 other nations, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil and the US, issued a joint statement to the World Trade Organization supporting relaxed regulations for gene editing, stating that governments should “avoid arbitrary and unjustifiable distinctions” between organisms developed through gene editing and organisms developed through conventional breeding. The ministries agreed to avoid obstacles without a scientific basis for the commercialization of products improved by genome editing, exchange information about products’ developments and applicable regulations and explore opportunities for regional harmonization. The agreement does not specifically mention gene edited animals, which many countries regulate more strictly than crops.
Genetically engineered agricultural products in Paraguay are regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Biosecurity Commission (COMBIO).
Paraguay participated and signed a position document on animal cloning during a Cloning Meeting in Buenos Aires in 2011. The document was signed by Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, Paraguay, and the United States. In that document, the signatory countries agreed with the scientific consensus that there is “no evidence indicating that food from clones or the progeny of clones is any less safe than food from conventionally bred livestock,” and that any attempt to regulate food derived from clones “such as bans or labeling requirements –could have negative impacts on international trade”.
2019: National Commission on Agricultural and Forestry Biosafety publishes Resolution No. 842, which outlines requirements for approval of products developed using gene editing and other new breeding techniques (NBTs).
2018: Paraguay and 12 other nations, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil and the US, issue a joint statement supporting agricultural applications of precision biotechnology, stating that governments should “avoid arbitrary and unjustifiable distinctions between end products derived from precision biotechnology and similar end products, obtained through other production methods.”
2018: Ministries of Agriculture of the South Agricultural Council (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) publish declaration stating they would avoid arbitrary and unjustifiable distinctions between agricultural products obtained by gene editing and those obtained through other methods, share information about the development of products and regulatory frameworks, explore opportunities for regional and international harmonization, and work together including with other countries to avoid obstacles.
2003: Cartagena Protocol (an international agreement) ratified, which protects the transport and use of organisms modified by biotechnology.
- Genetic Literacy Project’s FAQ on gene editing
- The regulatory current status of plant breeding technologies in some Latin American and the Caribbean countries