12 Jan 2011 – The evaluation of the risks of GMOs for health and the environment is the key controversy in the GMO debate in Europe. The work of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) GMO panel, in charge of this evaluation, has been criticised by independent scientists, NGOs, farmers unions. In the Environment Council conclusions from December 2008, Member States have asked for an improvement of the risk evaluation, in particular to include an assessment of the long term effects and to better take into account scientific uncertainties.
EFSA has therefore been working on two sets of guidelines on the evaluation of risks for the environment on the one hand, and on the data companies have to submit on the other hand. These guidelines are supposed to be adopted before the end of the year. While EFSA claim these guidelines will improve the current situation, independent scientists claim that this is not the case. ALDE MEPs Corinne Lepage and George Lyon will host this contradictory debate between EFSA and non EFSA experts on biosafety on how the risk evaluation of GMOs should be conducted.
Two ENSSER members – Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini and Dr. Angelika Hilbeck – were invited by ALDE to present a critical appraisal of GM food & feed risk assessments and to comment on the GM plant risk assessment Guidance. For more information, download the two lectures and use the full documentation of the seminar at the ALDE web page.
ENSSER was also providing a comprehensive critique of the final Guidance.