Biotech Updates

EFSA Releases Paper that Aims to Harmonize GMO Data Analysis

August 7, 2009

The European Food Safety Authority's GMO Panel has released a new scientific opinion that aims to identify a strategy for better harmonization of approaches for data evaluation in GMO risk assessment. The opinion, entitled "Statistical considerations for the safety evaluation of GMOs", is the product of over two years' work.

The GMO panel maintained that "it is not possible to provide rules for experimental design and analysis that are optimal in every situation." Nonetheless, the panel enumerated several recommendations to ensure a more uniform approach and greater transparency in risk assessment of GMOs. These include considering sufficient replication, different environmental conditions and commercial varieties in designing field trials to allow adequate quantification of natural variation, calculating differences between GMO and its non-GM comparator by an appropriate scale for all relevant endpoints, etc.

The opinion is available for download at