The Global Low Level Presence Initiative (GLI) is a group of 15 importing and exporting countries committed to work collaboratively on approaches to minimize unnecessary trade disruptions when addressing Low-Level Presence (LLP). Established in 2012, the GLI has had 6 international meetings to date and has developed information and resources to help minimize asynchronous approvals and manage LLP.

To promote open dialogue, encourage policy discussions and build networks which will support these objectives, the GLI holds regular meetings, attended by members, as well as observer countries and organizations. The GLI also works with industry to better understand barriers to trade, possible solutions, and impacts.

About the Global Low-Level Presence initiative members

Members recognize that asynchronous approvals of agricultural products of biotechnology, and LLP present trade risks for importers and exporters. Members are committed to developing approaches to prevent and manage LLP occurrences to increase trade predictability and transparency.

What is Low-Level Presence (LLP)?

Genetically modified (GM) crops have a long history of safe use. In fact, GM crops undergo thorough safety assessments before entering the marketplace. However, they may be authorized at different rates between countries for reasons such as differences in legislative systems and approvals timelines or asynchronous submissions.

The global grain system depends on bulk handling to consistently deliver affordable commodities. Despite best management practices by industry, small amounts of commercialized GM grain may be present in shipments to countries where use of the grain has not yet been authorized. This is what is called low level presence (LLP).

In order to be considered LLP, the GM grain must first have passed a food safety assessment by at least one country (typically the exporting country). LLP is therefore considered a compliance and management issue. In fact, at the time of an LLP situation, it is not that the importing country has determined the GM crop as unsafe, but rather has not yet authorized it. LLP is one example of the impacts of regulatory asynchrony between countries.

As the number of GM crops developed and traded across the globe is increasing, so is the potential for LLP. Trends in agricultural innovations, coupled with zero-tolerance for LLP, may lead to unnecessary trade disruptions as shipments containing LLP may be blocked or rejected.

GLI members are working collaboratively to develop guidance and science-based approaches to minimize asynchronous approvals and practically manage LLP. The GLI advances opportunities for international regulatory cooperation to support agricultural trade and move commodities where they are needed to feed a growing global population.

Find out more about the Global Low-Level Presence Initiative

International Statement

Information on shared goals among collaborating nations

Information and resources

Access documents, data and information about low level presence and food safety

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