Section 35 of the Biosafety Act 2007 stipulates that consideration and decision-making by the Minister and the Board are not only subject to scientific evidence where a decision can still be taken despite the lack of information or scientific evidence on the effects or extent of potential adverse effects from LMO and can also take into account socioeconomic considerations.
On March 15, 2021, LBK Meeting No. 2 of 2021 has agreed to approve the establishment of the Socioeconomic Committee (JSE). The function of this position is to provide advice and input to the Minister and the Board in matters related to socioeconomics.
The board has appointed a chairman to lead this committee and 15 experts as members comprising various disciplines including law, economics, culture, sociology, consumerism, religion and humanity.
As socioeconomics is a new aspect in the research and consideration of LMO risk, the JSE faces a major challenge in providing an appropriate assessment mechanism.