EU food agency to assess safety of three more GMOs
December 12, 2003
Reuters reports that Europe''s top food agency plans to deliver its safety verdict on three more gene-spliced genetically modified organisms (GMOs) early next year, officials said on Wednesday. With EU countries split down the middle on whether to lift their five-year ban on new biotech foods and crops, the views of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are seen as key to the debate since it is independent and non-political. Last week, EFSA issued its first verdict on the safety of GM foods, giving a clean bill of health to a modified maize type engineered by U.S. biotech giant Monsanto, saying it was safe for human and animal consumption. Now, EFSA specialists are assessing three other products -- two maize types and one oilseed rape, all from Monsanto (Bombay:MNSN.BO - News). EFSA expects to publish its assessments in January and February. EFSA scientists will meet this week and again on January 20-21. If all goes according to plan, the agency would publish its opinion on the first GMO -- Monsanto ''s herbicide-resistant GT73 oilseed rape -- about a week afterwards. Monsanto ''s application for EU authorisation only relates to import and processing for food and feed, not for growing.