EFSA – Regulatory Updates: safety of food irradiation – April 7, 2011

April 7, 2011 By


EFSA assesses the safety of food irradiation

EFSA’s experts conclude that there are no microbiological risks for the consumer linked to the use of food irradiation. The practice of irradiation, although effective, should be considered only as one of several processes which can reduce the presence of pathogens in food. They say irradiation should be part of an integrated food safety management programme to protect consumers, which includes good agricultural, manufacturing and hygienic practices.

The experts state that most of the substances formed in food by irradiation are also formed during other types of food processing, with levels comparable to those arising, for instance, from the heat treatment of foods.


Nuclear power plant incident in Japan

Member States and the European Commission are exchanging the latest information on radiation contamination from Japan through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) and the Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange System (ECURIE).

To date, the Commission has not requested EFSA to carry out any scientific work related to food or feed safety as a result of this incident. EFSA will continue to liaise closely with the Commission and food safety authorities in Europe, the Food Safety Commission of Japan and other non-EU food safety authorities.

EFSA holds stakeholder workshop on draft guidance for GM plant comparators – Webcast available

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) held a consultative workshop in Brussels on 31 March 2011 to discuss the views of stakeholders on its draft guidance for the selection of Genetically Modified (GM) plant comparators. The workshop brought together various interested parties, including representatives from academia, industry, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the European Commission, the European Parliament and scientific experts from EFSA. The meeting was also available to the public via a live webcast which was viewed by more than 900 people.


The aim of the workshop was to allow those who had commented in the recent written public consultation on the draft guidance to further elaborate and discuss their views and to engage directly with scientific experts from EFSA’s Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO Panel) and Working Group on Comparators. The outcomes from the written public consultation as well as discussions during the workshop will be taken into consideration by the EFSA GMO Panel as it works to finalise the guidance document.