On August 27, 2019, Honduras became the first country in Central America to regulate the products of new breeding techniques (NBTs) i.e. genome editing. The decision was made because employing these new techniques does not necessarily result in a Living Modified Organism. Honduran agricultural biotechnology policy and regulation is the responsibility of the National Service of Food Safety Plant and Animal Health (SENASA). Honduras understands a living modified organism in the same way the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety does. SENASA will understand that new breeding techniques “…are related to procedures of genetic breeding that use the precise knowledge between genotype and phenotype and the tools of molecular biology in order to develop an organism that is equivalent to those developed by traditional breeding techniques.” In other words, SENASA fully acknowledges that products of NBTs will be virtually indistinguishable from products of conventional (traditional) plant breeding. Thus, the pragmatic thing to do was to authorize the use of NBTs and let producers and consumers gain from these technologies.

You can read the agreement by which NBTs are now regulated in Honduras in its entirety (in spanish) here.

This is fantastic news, and an example to the rest of Central and South America!