EFSA proposed guidance document for the risk assessment of genetically modified food and feed open for consultation

Committed to the involvement of stakeholders in the risk assessment process, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and its Scientific Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) published today a draft guidance document for the risk assessment of genetically modified plants and derived food and feed. This document provides detailed guidance to assist applicants in the preparation and presentation of applications for the authorisation of genetically modified (GM) food and/or feed containing, consisting of or produced from GM plants. The document is available for consultation on the EFSA website. Interested parties are invited to submit written comments through an on-line consultation process by 30 April 2004. In keeping with its policy of openness and transparency, EFSA will organise a public forum with stakeholders prior to the final adoption of the guidance document. This consultation will focus on the scientific aspects of GM risk assessment and will be held on 25 May 2004 in Brussels.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and its Scientific Panel on genetically modified organisms (GMO) invite comments from interested parties on a draft guidance document for the risk assessment of genetically modified (GM) plants and derived food and feed prepared by the GMO Panel. This document provides guidance for the risk assessment of GM plants and/or derived food and feed submitted within the framework of Regulation (EC) No. 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed or Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release into the environment of GMOs. Further guidance documents on GM micro-organisms and substances such as GM derived additives and enzymes are currently being developed by EFSA’s GMO Panel, and will later be followed by guidance for applications relating to GM animals.

Commenting on this initiative, EFSA’s Director of Science and Deputy Executive Director, Dr. Herman Koëter, stated: “The subject of GMOs is one of great public interest and we believe it is important to involve stakeholders in the development of guidance for the risk assessment process. We understand of course that there are important considerations relating to GMOs in addition to the need to ensure their safety. However, given EFSA’s mandate, our consultation will focus on the scientific assessment of the safety of GMOs and their possible environmental impact. We look forward to receiving comments and pursuing dialogue with stakeholders at the forum which we plan to organise in May”.

Interested parties wishing to submit comments to the guidance document for the risk assessment of genetically modified plants and derived food and feed should do so by 30 April 2004. The guidance document and instructions on how to submit comments are available on the EFSA web site.

Media contacts