Biosafety is defined in Belgium as "The safety for human health and the environment, including the protection of biodiversity, during the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or micro-organisms (GMMs), and during the contained use of pathogenic organisms for humans".
In Belgium activities involving GMOs and/or pathogens can be performed only if they have been notified and authorised by the relevant Competent Authority(ies). Different procedures apply depending on the type of activity and/or organism involved.
Guidelines developed to provide support to carefully assess potential biological risks associated with activities involving GMOs and/or pathogens and for applying appropriate risk management measures.
Quick access: Belgian risk classes of micro-organisms
The SBB publishes scientific papers and reports on biosafety-related issues.
In a complex institutional context, Belgium set up a biosafety regulatory framework harmonised between the Federal State and the Regions based on a single science-based biosafety advisory system composed of two bodies: the Biosafety Advisory Council and the SBB.
The assessment of biological risks associated with the use of GMOs and/or pathogens is supported by a comprehensive regulatory framework, in particular at European Union (EU) level. The EU legislation forms the basis of the implementation of biosafety in Belgium.
The assessment of biological risks associated with the use of pathogens and/or recombinant DNA techniques has taken shape through different periods in recent history and through different fields.