Biotech Updates

Debate on GMO Risk Assessment and Management

March 18, 2011

Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli addressed the members of the European Parliament during a debate on the risk assessment and risk management of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). He explained that the objective of the debate is to bring everybody concerned in one forum to debate openly and to listen to questions or concerns.

Commissioner Dalli highlighted the two fundamental issues to build confidence and trust to the EU authorization: independence in the conduct of risk assessment and confidentiality of the scientific tests carried out by companies. He suggested measures in the conduct of risk assessment process such as independence and beyond reproach. In terms of confidentiality, only the names of people and the detailed genetic sequence may be kept confidential and all the rest including tests on animals should be made available to anyone upon request.

The commissioner then called for everyone "to tone down the debate on GMOs to the rational level, separating identified risks from potential risks and facts from perceptions, and tackling them separately."

Transcript of Commissioner Dalli's speech can be viewed at