Scientific experts and stakeholders can help reshape EFSA guidance for the allergenicity assessment of genetically modified (GM) plants at a workshop in Brussels on 17 June 2015. EFSA welcomes participants from Member States, international partners, academia, NGOs and industry to provide input.
The assessment of potential allergenicity is an integral part of the overall risk assessment of GM plants before being commercialised in the European Union (EU).
Reflecting new scientific developments
EFSA strives to base its scientific advice on the latest scientific knowledge and monitors scientific developments continuously for its risk assessment work. The supplementary guidance on allergenicity will reflect technical advances and new scientific findings since the current guidance was published in 2011.
Recent literature reviews commissioned by EFSA revealed new methodologies that might contribute to some allergenicity assessment processes. The reviews also identified the need to further standardise and harmonise test conditions in studies used for these allergenicity assessments.
Lastly, and in response to recent EU legislation on GM food and feed, the guidance will address additional requirements for assessing potential changes in the inherent allergenicity of a GM plant due to the genetic modification.
Early engagement with stakeholders
As part of its Open EFSA initiative, EFSA is engaging stakeholders more in its scientific process – from preparation to evaluation to communication – to aid understanding and enhance the quality of the Authority’s scientific outputs. Through this workshop EFSA aims to collect relevant information and insights from stakeholders for the development of the guidance even before drafting starts. This will allow EFSA to benefit early in the process from a large pool of knowledge and an open scientific debate.