Research Interests and Description

Group Leader: Wendy Craig, Trieste (

Group Members:
Francesca Farolfi, Senior Programme Assistant, Trieste (
André Rosado, Programme Assistant, Trieste (
Felix Moronta Barrios, Postdoc (

Research Interests

Biosafety, GMOs, biosecurity, public health, natural resource management, biocontrol, bioremediation, training


The Centre represents a scientific reference point for Parties that have ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity and, in particular, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety concerning the transboundary movement of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The role of ICGEB’s Biosafety Group is to disseminate as widely as possible significant information related to biosafety issues raised through the use of products derived from modern biotechnology, as well as to assist countries in their capacity to identify, regulate, manage and monitor those products within their own jurisdiction. This is achieved through a comprehensive approach involving training programmes, and the provision of technical assistance and advisory services.
The activities of the Biosafety Group are financially sustained through a longstanding collaboration with the Italian Ministry of the Environment (MATTM), through contributions from the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation for a project in sub-Saharan Africa and from the Global Environment Facility through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-GEF) for a project in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
Activities range from drafting legislation, regulations and guidance documents to organising in-country mentored fora in which novice GMO regulators are trained in model approaches and tools in the regulation of GMOs, and are assisted in tailoring these to national circumstances. Bilateral exchanges are organised between novel GMO regulators in Project Countries with experienced GMO regulators in Argentina, Australia and Canada so that the training and support provided remains pertinent and based on current international approaches. A portfolio of online eLearning biosafety modules is available for adoption by regulatory authorities and Universities in Member States.


Biosafety Capacity Building in sub-Saharan Africa
Assisting the Caribbean Regional Biosafety project
GRACE: GMO Risk Assessment and Communication of Evidence
Italian BCH: Biosafety Clearing House

Online Resources

Bi[bli]osafety Database:  A searchable collection of scientific studies of biosafety and risk assessment in biotechnology published since 1990. The tool is also interoperable with the central portal of the Biosafety Clearing House hosted by the Convention on Biological Diversity [currently being updated - available ASAP]

RASM Risk Assessment Search Mechanism: A collection of authoritative Risk Assessment documents related to official government decision concerning the commercial release of GMOs worldwide [currently being updated - available ASAP]

Collection of Biosafety Reviews: A compilation of scientific studies on areas of major interest for biosafety and risk assessment prepared by internationally-recognised scientists

eLearning ShowcaseA portfolio of curriculum-based modules encompassing the biosafety of genetically modified organisms and related matters in biosecurity, public health, natural resource management, biocontrol and bioremediation.


Recent Publications

Ndolo D, Wach M, Rüdelsheim P & Craig W, 2018. A Curriculum-Based Approach to Teaching Biosafety Through eLearning. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 6: 42-49

Rosado A, Craig W, 2017. Biosafety regulatory systems overseeing the use of genetically modified organisms in the Latin America and Caribbean region. AgBioForum, 20(2): 120-132

Craig W, Ndolo DO, Tepfer M, 2017. A Strategy for Integrating Science into Regulatory Decision-Making for GMOs. Chapter 3. In "Genetically Modified Organisms in Developing Countries. Risk Analysis and Governance". AA Adenle, EJ Morris & DJ Murphy (eds). Cambridge University Press, UK. pp 26-38.

Racovita M, Obonyo DN, Craig W, Ripandelli D, 2015. What are the non-food impacts of GM crop cultivation on farmers’ health? Environmental Evidence 4:17

Obonyo DN, Racovita M, Ripandelli D, Craig W, 2014. Biosafety issues in food and agricultural systems in Africa. In: Biosafety in Africa: Experiences and Best Practices. DP Keetch, D Makinde, CK Weebadde, K Maredia (eds), Michigan State University, USA. pp. 6-15

Racovita M, Obonyo DN, Craig W, Ripandelli D, 2014. What are the non-food impacts of GM crop cultivation on farmers’ health? A systematic review protocol. Environmental Evidence 3(1)
eLearning Showcase


For more information, please contact:

Cod. Fisc. 90031700322 tl_files/trieste pics/5permille .png

AREA Science Park
Padriciano 99
34149 Trieste, ITALY
Tel: +39-040-37571
Fax: +39-040-226555
Address book




tl_files/FB.png tl_files/Twitter_logo_blue-1def.png tl_files/rss.png
tl_files/InstagramICGEB_gray.png tl_files/LinkedIn-InBug-2CRev2.png tl_files/YouTube.png