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Food Safety

Reports and studies

Coexistence with conventional & organic agriculture

European Food Safety Authority

Guidance on the environmental risk assessment of GMO

Commission's Joint Research Centre and the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies

Economic performance of GM crops worldwide 2011

Management of field trials

The study looks at the how field trials of genetically modified crops are managed in the EU from October 2002 to March 2008 under Directive 2001/18/EC (Part B) on the deliberate release of GMOs into the environment.

Part B covers issuing of consent for deliberate release of GMOs for purposes other than marketing e.g. research and development.

Which crops does it cover?

The study covers trials of genetically modified:

  • Maize;
  • Oilseed rape;
  • Potato;
  • Sugar beet
  • Cotton.

Which EU countries did it cover?

The study gathered basic information from all EU countries and more details from:

  • France ;
  • Germany ;
  • Hungary ;
  • Spain ;
  • Sweden ;
  • The Netherlands;
  • United Kingdom .

Final report

Long-term effects of GMOs cultivation

This 2009 study addressed potential long-term (10-20 years) effects on health and the environment (including biodiversity) of genetically modified plants through their marketing and cultivation in the EU.

Which crops did the study cover?

Focus was on the 4 genetically modified crops most relevant to the EU:

  • Insect-resistant maize - Bt maize;
  • Herbicide-tolerant oilseed rape and sugar beet;
  • Starch-modified potato.

What did the study analyse?

The study covers:

  • Likelihood of occurrence of effects;
  • Identifies uncertainties and ways of minimising them e.g. modelling and improving monitoring methodology;
  • Actions to increase knowledge e.g. research areas.

It used literature reviews, online surveys and a workshop to rank the likelihood of adverse long-term effects from crop-trait combinations.

The report does not consider the possible magnitude of the risks due to lack of quantitative information, nor measures to mitigate them.

Implementation of legislation

Directive 2001/18/EC - deliberate release into the environment of GMOs

  • SecondCommission Report - experience with GMOs marketed under the above Directive - Annexes
  • Commission Report - experience with GMOs marketed under the above Directive - Annex
  • Background Study Report - improve the consistency and efficiency of legislation in biotechnology (Directive 2001/18/EC, Art 31 (7a, 7b and 7d)

Regulation (EC) N°1830/2003 - traceability and labelling of GMOs and traceability of food and feed produced from GMOs

Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 - genetically modified food and feed

Directive 2009/41/EC - contained use of genetically modified micro-organisms and Directive 90/219/EEC (replaced by Directive 2009/41/EC)

Report for the period 2019-2021

Report for the period 2014-2018

Note - Footnote 9 of the report should read ‘From Ministry of Agriculture to Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment (BIOR), supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture.’ 

Evaluation of legislation

Evaluation of the EU legislative framework in the field of cultivation of GMOs under Directive 2001/18/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, and the placing on the market of GMOs as or in products under Directive 2001/18/EC, 2011:

Evaluation of the EU legislative framework in the field of GM food and feed, 2010:

GM sampling and analysis in food

This study has been performed by an external consultant for the European Commission, in order to help to identify, explain and assess the issues arising from the current approach of sampling and analysis of GM material in food across the 28 EU Member States. It performs an ad hoc assessment of the need for, and feasibility of, harmonising food sampling and analysis methods for official controls to detect the presence of pending or expired GM material. The conclusions and opinions presented in the study reflect the views of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Commission.

Evidence presented in the study was gathered through national competent authorities, competent authorities at regional level, EU food business operators and commercial laboratories, the civil society and third countries.

The study was presented to the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF Committee) on 8 July 2016, section Genetically Modified Food and Feed and Environmental Risk, and conclusions were reached on the issue (see point A.03).