Passed in 2015, the Biosafety Act of Bhutan provides information on the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs), genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their products. The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) is the national competent authority for the implementation and enforcement of this Act and all other biosafety related activities in the Kingdom. At the beginning of the 2018, a special section was created on BAFRA’s website for the legislation and guidelines related to GMOs.
Bhutan has opted for a GMO-free strategy. The country does allow for the importation of processed or semi-processed GM products that are incapable of reproduction and whose safety assessment has been conducted. The act restricts the introduction and release of research involving GMOs.
On November 21, 2017, BAFRA published a surveillance report related to GMOs in animal feed. National Food Testing Laboratory (BAFRA, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests) has carried out surveillance on GMOs in feed sample focused on elements to get first-hand information by using real time thermal cycler equipment (PCR). The surveillance of GMOs by using sophisticated equipment is first of its kind in Bhutan, though they have previously carried out GMO surveillance by using simple GMO test kits in the field.