EFSA invites opinion on draft GMO risk guidelines

As part of an ongoing consultation with stakeholders, EFSA has announced its intention to call a meeting in September with environmental NGOs on its guidelines for the Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).
The revised draft ERA guidelines are the result of two years’ work by scientists from all over Europe.
In the current draft, the scientific experts have strengthened requirements for GM applications submitted to EFSA for evaluation with respect to data generation, collection and analysis. EFSA’s GMO Panel has in addition further developed specific guidance on the evaluation of possible effects of GM plants on non-target organisms.
In December 2008 the Environment Council concluded that the implementation of the EU legal framework for GMOs should be reinforced. Along with the other partners involved, including the European Commission and Member States, EFSA is taking a number of relevant actions including the continual revision of its guidelines. As a result of a public consultation on the draft guidance, it received 494 on GM plant ERA in March-April this year. In addition, over 2,000 viewers consulted the webstreamed meeting with Member State experts on 17 June where there was agreement amongs the 18 countries represented that the draft guidelines represented a significant step forward in GM plant environmental risk assessment.
Following on from discussions with Member States and recognising the specific interests of environmental NGOs, an invitation will be extended for a consultation in September 2010.
To express interest in participation, interested NGOs are asked to send an email to: gmo@efsa.europa.eu by 6 September 2010.

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