Country information about GM food safety assessment
The process for authorising a new GMO is based on the EU regulation on GM food and feed (1829/2003).
An application for authorising food or feed consisting of or made from a GMO must be submitted to the national authorities. The national authority then sends the application to the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) for a risk assessment. EFSA then makes the application summary available to the public. No matter where in the EU the company applies, EFSA assesses the risks the GMO presents for the environment, human health and animal safety. If the application covers cultivation, EFSA delegates the environmental risk assessment to an EU country which sends EFSA its risk assessment report.
After performing the risk assessment, EFSA submits its scientific opinion to the European Commission and to EU countries. The opinion is made available to the public, except for certain confidential aspects.
Once EFSA publishes its risk assessment, the public has 30 days to comment on the Commission website for applications under Reg. 1829/2003, and on the Joint Research Centre website on the assessment report of the "lead" EU country for applications under Directive 2001/18.
Within 3 months of receiving EFSA's opinion, the Commission grants or refuses the authorisation in a proposal. If it differs from EFSA’s opinion, it must explain why.
National representatives approve the Commission’s proposal by qualified majority in: (1) The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health if the application was submitted under Reg. 1829/2003; (2) The Regulatory Committee under Directive 2001/18/EC if the application was submitted under Dir. 2001/18.
The proposal is adopted if the Committee agrees with it. If there is no opinion, the Commission may summon an Appeal Committee where EU countries can adopt or reject the proposal. If the Appeal Committee makes no decision, the Commission may adopt its proposal.
Authorisations are valid for 10 years (renewable).
Relevant links to documents and information prepared by the competent authority responsible for the safety assessment