GMAC Subcommittee on Release of Agriculture-related GMOs

“Agriculture-related organisms” refers to animals (including fish and invertebrates), plants, microorganisms and vaccines used in cultivation, farming, agronomy, husbandry and horticulture or as food.

GMAC has established a subcommittee to evaluate, advice, and make recommendations on proposed releases of agriculture-related genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Singapore.

The terms of reference of the Subcommittee are as follows:

  • To draft revisions of the Singapore Guidelines on the Release of Agriculture-Related GMOs, when necessary, for GMAC’s approval;
  • To designate the various agencies (ie. AVA, NEA, MOH, NParks) to implement the Guidelines using their existing legislation;
  • To assess the risks associated with the release of agriculture-related GMOs or recommend to GMAC to appoint an expert panel if necessary;
  • To make recommendations to GMAC on the approval for release of agriculture-related GMOs
  • To assess the risks associated with the release of agriculture-related GMOs or recommend to GMAC to appoint an expert panel if necessary;
  • To monitor the control of release of agriculture-related GMOs in the environment by the relevant agency

In 1999, GMAC published the Singapore Guidelines on the Release of Agriculture-Related GMOs to ensure the safe movement and use of such organisms in Singapore. In particular, we work very closely with regulatory agencies such as the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority to ensure that all GM foods commercially available in Singapore are at least as safe as their conventional counterparts.

The Subcommittee on the Release of Agriculture-Related GMOs makes science-based risk assessments of proposed releases of agriculture-related GMOs. Its recommendations are forwarded to the GMAC main committee, which decides whether or not it will endorse the application. The regulatory authorities will take into account GMAC’s advice when considering the official approval of agriculture-related GMOs.

The Subcommittee consists of scientific experts as well as representatives from the regulatory authorities. When necessary, ad hoc expert panels will be appointed for particular cases.

The composition of the Subcommittee is as follows:

Name Role in GMAC Designation Organisation
A/Prof Peter Dröge Subcommittee Chairman Associate Professor
Division of Molecular and Cell Biology
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
Ms Lee Siew Mooi Member Deputy Director, Technology
Planning & Management Dept
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)
Dr Matthias Maiwald Member Senior Consultant
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Adjunct Associate Professor
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
KK Women's and Children's Hospital
National University of Singapore and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
Dr Hong Yan Member Adjunct Associate Professor
School of Biological Sciences
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
Dr Yin Zhongchao Member Senior Principal Investigator Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL)
A/Prof Xu Jian Member Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore (NUS)
A/Prof Pan Shen Quan Member Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore (NUS)
A/Prof Ho Han Kiat Member Associate Professor
Department of Pharmacy
National University of Singapore (NUS)
Dr Huangfu Taoqi Ad-Hoc Member Deputy Director
Virology Section
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)
A/Prof Justin Chu Ad-Hoc Member Assistant Professor
Laboratory of Molecular RNA, Virology and Antiviral Strategies
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
National University of Singapore (NUS)
Prof Wang Linfa Ad-Hoc Member Professor & Director
Emerging Infectious Disease Programme
Duke-NUS Medical School

For more information on the work of the Subcommittee, please see:

Various Agencies, 6 Nov 2008
Multi-Agency Circular on Biosafety Guidelines for Research, Release and Importation of GMOs


The Straits Times, 25 Mar 2008
All Food Here, Including GM Food, Safe to Eat: AVA


The Business Times, 8 Mar 2008
Guardian of Singapore's Food Supply


The Straits Times, 21 Jun 2006
GM Food Facts


The Straits Times, 21 Jun 2006
Test-Tube Foods Still a Hot Potato


The Straits Times, 9 Jun 2004
GM Food Here Tested for Safety


GMAC, 20 Aug 1999
Singapore Guidelines on the Release of Agriculture-Related GMOs