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THE ROLE OF THE EFSA

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... assessed by the European Food Safety Authority as being as ... European Food Safety Authority and its work on genetically modified foods and crops. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: THE ROLE OF THE EFSA


1
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THE ROLE OF THE EFSA
GMO Free Europe
  • Provides scientific opinions for European
    Institutions
  • these opinions are used by the European
    Commission to force new GM products onto the
    market in the absence of a qualified majority by
    member states

3
For example, in July 2004 Environment
Commissioner Margot Wallström said "The NK603
maize has been subject to a rigorous pre-market
risk assessment. It has been scientifically
assessed by the European Food Safety Authority as
being as safe as any conventional maize. Its
safety is, therefore, not in question, and
neither is the question of user or consumer
choice.
GMO Free Europe
4
USED BY THE INDUSTRY
GMO Free Europe
  • Acting in accordance with EU regulations and the
    positive safety opinion of 1507 maize given by
    EFSA, the Commission has today given its decision
    to approve 1507 maize,
  • Simon Barber, Europabio

5
The GMO Panel scientists
GMO Free Europe
  • One member has direct financial links with the
    biotech industry
  • Several have indirect links, eg acting as
    advisors for industry conferences
  • Two members appear in promotional videos produced
    by the biotech industry.
  • Eight members of the Panel, including the chair,
    are already involved in assessing GM applications
    at the national level

6
THE EFSA SO FAR
GMO Free Europe
  • 21 opinions
  • 21 in favour of the industry
  • One GMO needed more research

7
Antibiotic resistance markers (ARMs)
GMO Free Europe
  • Directive 2001/18 phase out of ARMs which may
    have adverse effects on human health and the
    environment
  • EFSA also taking into account the limited
    availability of alternatives.
  • EFSA ARMs are required to ensure the efficient
    selection of transgenic events in plants.

8
Antibiotic resistance markers (ARMs)
GMO Free Europe
  • The ampR gene is present in Syngentas Bt176
    maize
  • EFSA should not be present in GM plants to be
    placed on the market.
  • However, should only apply to future GM crops, ie
    wont support Austrian ban.

9
THROWING CAUTION TO THE WIND
GMO Free Europe
  • A review of the European Food Safety Authority
    and its work on genetically modified foods and
    crops.
  • www.foeeurope.org/GMOs
  • November 2004

10
The EFSA Challenge
GMO Free Europe
  • October 2005,
  • EFSA Stakeholder Platform

11
The EFSA Challenge
GMO Free Europe
Challenge 1 EFSA must consider long term human
or environmental effects. Challenge 2 EFSA must
address differences in scientific opinion within
the EU
12
The EFSA Challenge
GMO Free Europe
Challenge 3 The EFSA must address the scientific
uncertainties and, as a consequence the
precautionary principle Challenge 4 The EFSA must
review the make up of its scientific panels with
a view to making them absent of vested interests
13
The EFSA Challenge
GMO Free Europe
Challenge 5 The Management Board should insist
that all interests are declare. Failure to
declare should result in dismissal of the
individual. Challenge 6 Draft minutes should be
published within a week and final minutes within
3 weeks
14
The EFSA Challenge
GMO Free Europe
Challenge 7 All stakeholders should be able to
write to scientific panels. Challenge 8 The EFSA
should make available all documents that the
public are entitled to.
15
The EFSA Challenge
GMO Free Europe
Challenge 9 The EFSA must define
values/thresholds that state when observed
significant differences are to be considered as
of concern. Challenge 10 The EFSA must take steps
to improve its relationship with NGOS
16
Growing criticism and opportunities
GMO Free Europe
  • Commission has now sent back 2 opinions
  • Concerns about EFSA raised at Council meetings
    and in the European Parliament
  • Lack of support from NGOs
  • New GMO Panel in 2006
  • New Chief Executive in 2006

17
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