Global Processing

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.