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Thursday, 25 April 2013

EFSA refuses to pronounce itself on the safety of GM maize

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) did not pronounce itself on the safety of genetically modified (GM) maize 98140 after the applicant failed to supply sufficient data on the plant’s characteristics, such as its composition and appearance.
The GM maize 98140 is a herbicide tolerant crop. EFSA says it could not reach an overall conclusion on the potential risks to human and animal health, because the application for evaluation did not meet all the minimum standards set out by the Authority’s guidance document. This rejection is the first after the authority had committed to make its assessments public.
The lack of sufficient data impeded a comparative assessment of the GM maize.
Comparative assessment is the fundamental requirement for the risk evaluation of GMOs. It compares GM plants, and the food and feed derived from them, with their respective conventional counterparts – known as comparators. The basic assumption of this method, which is required under current European Union legislation for all GMO applications, is that food and feed from conventionally-bred plants have a history of safe use, and they can therefore serve as a baseline for the risk assessment of food and feed derived from GM plants.
EFSA is the keystone of European Union (EU) risk assessment regarding food and feed safety
EFSA’s risk assessment was delivered in line with its remit to provide independent scientific advice to decision-makers in the European Union. Risk managers in the European Commission and Member States take EFSA’s evaluations into account, along with other factors, when deciding on the authorisation of GMOs.

Source: EFSA, actu-environnement.com