GMO risk assessment for human and animal health and the environment

[tweetmeme http://www.URL.com]  The European Food Safety Authority has released an interesting in-depth 200 page assessment titled “EFSA and GMO risk assessment for human and animal health and the environment.”  It provides information that was covered in the last EFSA conference on genetically modified organisms as food sources.  The report itself includes all conference materials, including texts of presentations, reference materials and links to where to find additional information on covered topics.  While the introductory statements and more political speeches are also included in this report and may be of less value to researchers, the remainder of the report is quite useful.

In particular, the proceedings of the scientific sessions are of interest:

  • Session 1: GMOs: assessing the risks for human and animal health and the environment, pages 23-113
  • Session 2:  The impact of GM crop cultivation on the environment, pages 113-187

The preface of this report reads:

The European Food Safety Authority is tasked with providing a robust scientific basis for decision makers to help protect consumers from risks in the food chain in Europe. Our most critical commitment is to provide independent, evidence-based advice and clear communications, grounded in the most up-to-date scientific information and guided by the principles of scientific excellence, transparency, openness and responsiveness.

In the field of GMOs, EFSA serves the European Union mainly by providing independent scientific risk assessments on new GMO applications and renewals of existing authorisations for the use of GMOs in the internal market. The Authority has developed a range of Guidance Documents to describe its approach to risk assessments, define data requirements for applicants and generally provide guidance on the application process.

These documents, which are subject to public consultation, are regularly updated to reflect the current state of scientific knowledge.  In delivering its scientific advice, EFSA pursues an active policy of consultation with stakeholders and interested parties. Through the regulatory framework, the competent authorities in Member States are engaged in the evaluation process. Consultation is particularly important in fi elds such as GMOs where there are differing views and where the scope of EFSA’s mandates extends beyond the traditional remit of food safety toinclude, for example, environmental risk assessment. It is crucially important that EFSA clearly describes its role in the assessment of new technologies, strengthens its understanding of consumer perception of risk and builds its dialogue with stakeholders.

This EFSA conference therefore had a dual purpose: (i) to describe and discuss the roles and responsibilities of EFSA, Member States and the European Commission in the GMO risk assessment process; and (ii) to hear the views and experiences of key stakeholders in the GMO field.

Over 150 participants attended the event. This included national experts, representatives from stakeholder and NGO organisations, from public authorities, and from international and non-EU organisations.

Read the full publication in PDF format by clicking here.

Citation: EFSA and GMO risk assessment for human and animal health and the environment, Publications Office of the European Union, ISBN: 978-92-9199-179-2 ISSN: 1725-9843 DOI: 10.2805/21847

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