EU Scientific Network Issues First Report on GMO Risk Assessment
19 April 2011: The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has released the first annual report of its scientific network on risk assessment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The network was launched in 2010.
The network aims to harmonize the level of risk assessments developed in the EU by: improving dialogue among participants; building mutual understanding of risk assessment principles; enhancing knowledge on and confidence in the scientific assessments carried out in the EU; and providing increased transparency in the current process among member States and EFSA.
Currently, 24 EU States and Norway are members of the GMO network, with each county nominating two member organizations with expertise in molecular characterization and food/feed safety, and in environmental risk assessment.
The first meeting of the network was held in November 2010. Participants discussed, among other issues: the EFSA policy on networking with member States; the use of information technology tools for accessing and exchanging information; tests for assessing animal GMO risks; and risk assessment of stacked events, new technologies, novel traits, environmental impacts and long term effects. A consultative workshop took place in March 2011 to discuss a comparative approach to risk assessment and consider comments received through public consultations.
The report also notes that outputs of the GMO network, including minutes of meetings, will be published on the website of the EFSA GMO unit. [Publication: Annual Report of the EFSA Scientific Network of Risk Assessment of GMOs] [Website of the EFSA GMO Network]