EFSA's scientific activities and achievements on the risk assessment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) during its first decade of existence: looking back and ahead.

TitleEFSA's scientific activities and achievements on the risk assessment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) during its first decade of existence: looking back and ahead.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsDevos Y, Aguilera J, Diveki Z, Gomes A, Liu Y, Paoletti C, du Jardin P, Herman L, Perry JN, Waigmann E
JournalTransgenic research
Date Published2013 Aug 21
Abstract

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and derived food and feed products are subject to a risk analysis and regulatory approval before they can enter the market in the European Union (EU). In this risk analysis process, the role of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which was created in 2002 in response to multiple food crises, is to independently assess and provide scientific advice to risk managers on any possible risks that the use of GMOs may pose to human and animal health and the environment. EFSA's scientific advice is elaborated by its GMO Panel with the scientific support of several working groups and EFSA's GMO Unit. This review presents EFSA's scientific activities and highlights its achievements on the risk assessment of GMOs for the first 10 years of its existence. Since 2002, EFSA has issued 69 scientific opinions on genetically modified (GM) plant market registration applications, of which 62 for import and processing for food and feed uses, six for cultivation and one for the use of pollen (as or in food), and 19 scientific opinions on applications for marketing products made with GM microorganisms. Several guidelines for the risk assessment of GM plants, GM microorganisms and GM animals, as well as on specific issues such as post-market environmental monitoring (PMEM) were elaborated. EFSA also provided scientific advice upon request of the European Commission on safeguard clause and emergency measures invoked by EU Member States, annual PMEM reports, the potential risks of new biotechnology-based plant breeding techniques, evaluations of previously assessed GMOs in the light of new scientific publications, and the use of antibiotic resistance marker genes in GM plants. Future challenges relevant to the risk assessment of GMOs are discussed. EFSA's risk assessments of GMO applications ensure that data are analysed and presented in a way that facilitates scientifically sound decisions that protect human and animal health and the environment.

DOI10.1155/2013/781024
Alternate JournalTransgenic Res.