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GAIN Report - IS5009Page 12 of 2

ensure through their importing agents, that their kosher certification is accepted by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate.

2. Biotechnology Policy

Israel’s Regulatory Framework

Two committees are responsible for the biotechnology regulatory framework in Israel: The Governmental New Foods Committee of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and The National Committee for Transgenic Plants (NCPT) of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture. The labeling of food products and the registration of food ingredients, which contain biotech components, are the responsibility of the food committee. The testing of biotechnology crops and the regulations on genetically modified organism plants are the responsibility of the NCPT committee.

The committee has suggested new regulations governing GMO products in two areas:

1)

the registration process of GMO foods; and

2)

the labeling process

Since the legislative process is expected to take approximately two years, the food committee will publish the procedures for food registration for the time being. The new procedures will not be concerned with the labeling of modified food products.

Under the premise of protecting public health, the food committee will begin registration of food products containing GMO ingredients derived from the following crops: soybean, corn, canola and chicory.

Imported food products will be divided into two groups – food products existing in the food market and new food products. The procedures for the two groups will be as follows:

1. Existing food products – the importer must provide information of the legal regulations for the specific product in industrial countries (U.S., EU, Switzerland, Norway, Japan, Australia, and Canada). The information must include the approved purpose of the food product and description of any genetically engineered procedures in the manufacture of the product.

2. For new food products which are not yet registered the importer must submit a registration application accompanied by the following required certification: Toxicology test, safety assessment, results of previous clinical experiments, commercial name of the product and nature of the biotech modifications.

F.  Other Specific Standards

1. General

It is the declared policy of the Government of Israel to adopt international standards wherever possible, and to implement mandatory standards related only to safety, health, and the environment. In practice, however, many products are still subject to mandatory standards some of which were designed to favor domestic producers over importers. As in the case of plywood, these local standards often specify in terms of design rather than performance.  The Israel plywood standard effectively excludes most United States plywood from the market.

The Standards Institution of Israel (SII) is the agency responsible for the development of most product standards, compliance testing, and certification of products and industry

UNCLASSIFIEDUSDA Foreign Agricultural Service

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