EFSA invites European Commission to dialogue on GMO issues

Last Monday EFSA invited Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas to a meeting to update him on EFSA’s scientific and procedural approach on food safety issues, especially on his comments on the risk assessment of GMOs. In this meeting EFSA would also like to discuss the issues raised in the EFSA evaluation report on practises concerning risk assessment, to which the Commissioner referred in his speech at the conference on GMO co-existence in Vienna last week.

As an open and transparent scientific organisation EFSA takes any criticism seriously and invites those who may not agree with the opinions to debate scientific issues in an open way. In line with this policy EFSA invited the NGOs for a meeting in February in Parma, and has invited national experts to participate in a meeting on GMOs risk assessment and the input of Member States in this process on May 15 in Brussels.

Mid last year EFSA started with the process of bringing more transparency to its scientific assessment, a process which requires involvement of Member States and stakeholders. The need of this was also discussed in the Environmental Council of March 9, 2006. With respect to the concerns expressed in the Council on data requirements for GMO assessments, EFSA has also decided to further expand its guidance document on GMOs to give more explanatory details.

In collaboration with the European Commission and the Member States EFSA will continue to fulfil its regulatory tasks being open to possibilities of scientific and procedural improvements.

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