Printed science publications

EFSA and GMO risk assessment for human and animal health and the environment


(This document, published on 10 December 2009, replaces the earlier version published on 23 November 2009.)

ISBN 978-92-9199-179-2
Publication date: November 2009
Available in English


The European Food Safety Authority is tasked with providing a robust scientific basis for decision makers to help protect consumers from risks in the food chain in Europe. Our most critical commitment is to provide independent, evidence-based advice and clear communications, grounded in the most up-to-date scientific information and guided by the principles of scientific excellence, transparency, openness and responsiveness.

In the field of GMOs, EFSA serves the European Union mainly by providing independent scientific risk assessments on new GMO applications and renewals of existing authorisations for the use of GMOs in the internal market. The Authority has developed a range of Guidance Documents to describe its approach to risk assessments, define data requirements for applicants and generally provide guidance on the application process. These documents, which are subject to public consultation, are regularly updated to reflect the current state of scientific knowledge.

In delivering its scientific advice, EFSA pursues an active policy of consultation with stakeholders and interested parties. Through the regulatory framework, the competent authorities in Member States are engaged in the evaluation process. Consultation is particularly important in fields such as GMOs where there are differing views and where the scope of EFSA's mandates extends beyond the traditional remit of food safety to include, for example, environmental risk assessment. It is crucially important that EFSA clearly describes its role in the assessment of new technologies, strengthens its understanding of consumer perception of risk and builds its dialogue with stakeholders.

This EFSA conference therefore had a dual purpose: (i) to describe and discuss the roles and responsibilities of EFSA, Member States and the European Commission in the GMO risk assessment process; and (ii) to hear the views and experiences of key stakeholders in the GMO field.

Over 150 participants attended the event. This included national experts, representatives from stakeholder and NGO organisations, from public authorities, and from international and non-EU organisations.

  • European Conference: EFSA and GMO risk assessment for Human and Animal Health and the Environment - 14-15 September 2009