EFSA is setting up a stakeholder consultative group to support its upcoming work on the allergenicity assessment of genetically modified (GM) plants. The group will be consulted at various stages during the process and will provide input to the EFSA scientific working group in charge of the activity.
Nominations for membership of the stakeholder group will be accepted from registered EFSA stakeholder organisations as well as non-registered bodies with an interest in the area of allergenicity assessment. More information here.
EFSA will address recurring questions related to the allergenicity assessment and protein safety of GM plants. Specific attention will be paid to the usefulness of the current in vitro protein digestibility test, a pepsin resistance test in the safety assessment of proteins.
EFSA will also address the main gaps in the allergenicity assessment and the protein safety assessment of novel proteins, highlighting key aspects that need additional work/discussion and formulating specific research needs on the topic.
Experts from Member States will be also involved in the consultation group. The group will be invited to online (owing to the current sanitary situation) meetings of the Allergenicity Working Group and to a workshop that is scheduled to take place in spring 2021.
EFSA’s Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms will task the Allergenicity Working Group to produce two deliverables: a Statement on the usefulness of in vitro protein digestion in risk assessment; and a scientific opinion providing recommendations for future developments, including research needs, in the field of allergenicity assessment, and protein safety in general.
EFSA is expected to deliver the statement by the end of this year and the scientific opinion on recommendations by summer 2021.