Brussels – Greenpeace has welcomed the publication by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) of new guidelines for long-term studies on genetically modified (GM) food . Although assessing the long-term health and environmental impacts of GM products is a central requirement of the existing EU authorisation process, long-term feeding studies are not currently conducted as part of GM authorisations, said Greenpeace. Currently the impacts of GM crops are normally tested for 90 days.
Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: "The EFSA guidelines are a first step to address the unacceptable gap in current EU safety testing of GM crops. At the moment, long-term studies are extremely rare and there are no consistent parameters on how to carry them out. Long-term feeding studies should be made compulsory for any company that is applying for authorisation of a GM crop.”
The formulation of the EFSA guidelines follows the publication of controversial research investigating the effects of GM crops in long-term feeding studies, in which the experimental parameters were subject to criticism .
Greenpeace stresses that these EFSA guidelines do not address potential problems arising from the release of GM crops. Greenpeace believes that in the absence of a full understanding of the implications of GM crops in the environment, the precautionary principle should apply.
 EFSA, 31 July 2013, EFSA issues guiding principles for two-year whole food studies: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/130731.htm
 Greenpeace, 4 October 2012, European food agency issues preliminary review of GM maize rat study: http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/en/News/2012/EFSA-rat-study/
Marco Contiero - Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director: +32 (0) 477 777 034,
Ed Davitt - Greenpeace media officer: +32 (0)476 988 584,
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