The NATIONAL BIOLOGICAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROGRAM (NBIAP)
is pleased to announce the release of the
BIOMONITORING DATABASE on CD-ROM
a FREE database available from USDA
The Biomonitoring Database (BMD) is a compilation of records and reports
pertaining to the safety issues surrounding field releases of organisms
modified using recombinant DNA technology.
PURPOSE: The purpose of the BMD is to inform and support the biotechnology
research community, state and local governments, public interest groups
and the interested public. Federal monitoring of field applications of
biotechnology combined with accessibility to public documents pertaining
to risk/safety issues can help assure the public and state and local
governments that these vital issues are being addressed.
INFORMATION: The first release of the Biomonitoring Database contains, on
CD-ROM, the full text of 176 environmental assessments (EAs) issued by
USDA's regulatory branch of the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service
(APHIS), the Biotechnology, Biologics and Environmental Protection (BBEP)
unit. These EAs were issued by APHIS in conjunction with granting of
permits to field test genetically modified organisms.
REQUIREMENTS: The database is based on a Lotus software program called
Smartext, which runs in a Windows environment. As a CD-ROM product, the
BMD requires a CD-ROM reader, Windows and Smartext (release 1.147 or
higher) for operation. (Mention of a particular product or manufacturer
does not constitute an endorsement by the United States Department of
CAPABILITIES: In addition to the full text of each Environmental
Assessment, the following options are available:
* Outline of the full text. By highlighting a heading of interest in the
outline, the database user is taken directly to the portion of the text
which is described by that heading.
* Particular words or phrases can be searched within the full text.
* The user can search the entire database for reports containing
information about field tests involving a particular recipient organism, a
particular donor organism, a specific transformation method or any
* The user can search the entire database for reports of field tests which
took place in a particular state or county.
* Four types of indices are available within each of the 19 different
types of recombinant organisms released (e.g. recombinant corn). These
indices contain 1) general terms, 2) organisms mentioned in the text, 3)
gene names mentioned in the text and 4) authors cited in the references.
* Electronic linkages are created which allow users to move quickly from
one text location to another which pertains to the same subject matter.
OTHER INFORMATION: In addition to the full text EAs, the CD-ROM also
includes NBIAP's 1) Permit application system (PAS) software (v 3.0),
designed to help simplify the process of applying for a permit to field
test and 2) Termination Report Generator (TRG) software (v 1.0) to
facilitate the writing of an end of experiment report.
Future versions of the database, to be updated semi-annually, will include
additional information pertaining to the safety of field testing
genetically modified organisms (e.g. determinations of nonregulatory
status) as it is developed. Often cited articles from scholarly journals
pertaining to recombinant organisms as well as project reports resulting
from the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants program and
proceedings from relevant conferences will also be included in future
FOR MORE INFORMATION: To receive your free copy of the BMD or for more
Dr. Ann Lichens-Park
Associate Program Director
National Biological Impact Assessment Program
Ag Box 2220
Washington, DC 20250-2220
Tel: (202) 401-4892; FAX: (202) 401-4888