GM and novel foods research
Agency research work that investigates the safety of novel foods, including GM.
Research funded by the Novel Foods Additives and Supplements Division of the FSA supports the Agency's role in the safety assessment for all novel foods, as well as Genetically Modified (GM) foods. This research ensures that sound science is applied to the safety assessment of novel and GM foods.
'Novel foods' are foods or food ingredients that do not have a significant history of consumption in the European Union before 1997. This research theme includes research on Genetically Modified (GM) foods – those produced from GM crops that have had their DNA modified in some way. The safety assessment of genetically modified (GM) foods is now covered by the GM Food and Feed Regulation (EC) 1829/2003.
The Agency's research in this area has been funded under three programmes, two of which (G01 and G02) are now complete.
The G01 research programme largely focused on the safety of GM foods. However, other novel foods, including 'functional foods' also fell within the scope of this programme. A functional food is one claiming to have additional benefits other than nutritional value, for example a margarine that contains a cholesterol-lowering ingredient.
A second research programme, G02, was established to examine the safety assessment of GM foods, with the aim of refining the current safety assessment procedures for GM foods.
The third programme, (G03) on the safety assessment of novel and GM foods; commenced in December 2005. The G03 programme will build on and continue to support the mandatory safety assessment of GM and novel foods in order that the most up to date scientific knowledge may be used. A range of projects are included in the programme; for example, the development of data models from the baseline information gathered under G02, alternative GM DNA detection methods, studies on post-translational modification in GM plants and the feasibility of using Multidimensional Protein Identification Technology (MudPIT) as a tool for GM safety assessment.
Due to the large amount of public interest in this subject it is our aim to publish as much of the research carried out in these two programmes as possible, with all completed projects being assessed by independent experts.
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