EFSA and NGOs meet in Parma to discuss GMOs

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has held a meeting in Parma with environmental NGOs on the subject of genetically modified organisms as part of its commitment to regular open dialogue with organisations with a legitimate interest in its work.

EFSA Executive Director Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle welcomed all participants to the meeting. Five members of EFSA’s GMO Panel, including its chair Harry Kuiper, held a day of discussions with Helen Holder and Werner Mueller of Global 2000/Friends of the Earth, Austria and Janet Cotter of Greenpeace.

EFSA scientific officers from the GMO unit also took part in the meeting which was chaired by the head of EFSA’s Risk Assessment Directorate, Riitta Maijala, and the Head of the GMO unit Per Bergman. Representatives from the Commission’s DG SANCO and DG Environment were also present as observers.

Per Bergman also presented EFSA’s work in the area of GMO risk assessment including actions arising from the conclusions from the Environmental Council in December last year.

Discussions focused on recent issues linked to the GM maize MON810 and the GM rice LLRice62. The meeting included an exchange of views on the scientific comments received on the Commission’s public consultation on the risk assessment of MON810 and the scientific questions raised during the risk assessment of LLRice62.

Additional topics discussed were EFSA’s review of long-term environmental risk assessment and its review of the environmental impacts of herbicide tolerant GM crops.