Biotech Updates

EFSA Seeks Comments on Scientific Opinion on the Assessment of Allergenicity of GM Plants

December 4, 2009

The European Food and Safety Authority's GMO Panel has published for public consultation a draft report on the assessment of allergenicity of GM plants and microorganisms and derived food and feed. This report discusses various aspects to increase the strength and accuracy of the weight-of-evidence approach which is done on a step-by-step and case-by-case basis, and which is considered the most appropriate way of assessing the allergenicity of GM food and feed. The Panel recommended that with regard to the search for sequence homology and structural similarities, local alignment method with a known allergen with a threshold of 35 percent sequence identity over a window of at least 80 amino acids is considered a minimal requirement. Interested parties are invited to submit written comments by 31 January 2010.

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