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 2019, Paraguay published a resolution outlining what is required for crops developed using gene editing and other new breeding techniques (NBTs) to be approved. 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 crops developed through gene editing and crops 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.
Genetically engineered plants are regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Biosecurity Commission (COMBIO). Paraguay is the sixth-largest producer of transgenic crops in the world, but no gene-edited crops are approved for commercial production.
2019: National Commission on Agricultural and Forestry Biosafety publishes Resolution No. 842, which outlines requirements for approval of crops developed using gene editing and other new breeding techniques (NBTs).
2018: Paraguay and 12 other nations issue a joint statement supporting agricultural applications of precision biotechnology, stating that governments should “avoid arbitrary and unjustifiable distinctions between end products (crop traits) 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.
2003: Transgenic crops authorized for production and sale, reversing a previous ban.