Report into international approaches to the regulation of GM and novel foods published
The study explored several aspects of food safety regulation, including definitions, underlying legislation, authorisation processes and production standards.
The FSA has published research which aims to capture different regulatory approaches and processes into GM and novel foods..
As the FSA continues to build its science and evidence base, following the UK’s departure from the EU, this report - which got underway in summer 2020 – will also help set out what systems operate around the world to regulate the international trade of these products.
Novel foods are defined as foods not consumed to a significant degree by humans in the EU before 15 May 1997. They are required to be authorised by the FSA before they can safely be placed on the market. Similarly, pre-market authorisation is also required for products under Genetic Modification Regulations, if separate to Novel Food Regulations.
FSA Chief Scientific Adviser Prof Robin May said:
“As a responsible and independent government regulator, with consumer interests at heart, it is vital that we continue to carry out research into all elements of the food system – and we are open and transparent in doing so.
“We are committed to retaining the highest possible food standards. Any possible changes to regulatory processes, whether relating to GMOs, novel foods or anything else, would be a decision for ministers but we provide advice based on the very latest science and evidence available, ensuring that our absolute priority remains protection of public health.”
Meanwhile, the FSA awaits the publication of Defra’s consultation into the regulation of genetic technologies as a whole, due later this summer.
The full report can be found on the FSA website.