§ Mr. Rooker
My Department has responsibility for novel foods. I receive advice on the safety from the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) which assesses all novel foods in accordance with guidelines laid down by the European Commission (Official Journal L253, Vol. 40 of 16 September 1997). These guidelines, which reflect the views of internationally recognised experts in this area, are not based on the concept of quantitative risk assessment. Instead, each application is rigorously assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure the product will not present a danger to the consumer, mislead the consumer or differ from foods or food ingredients which they are intended to replace to such an extent that their normal consumption would be nutritionally disadvantageous.
§ Mr. Rooker
A complete list of the novel foods considered by the Advisory Committee on Novel Food and Processes (ACNFP) prior to the EU Novel Foods250W Regulation (258/97) coming into force in May 1997 is contained in Appendix XIII of its Annual Report for 1996, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. This is a complete list of all novel foods that have been considered in the United Kingdom up to March 1997. Between that date and 15 May 1997, no further applications were considered.
Since the Novel Foods Regulation came into force, the Committee has considered four applications requesting an opinion on substantial equivalence, for two genetically modified (GM) cottonseeds, a GM potato and a GM maize, and has requested further information for all of them. In addition, one full application for food safety clearance, on GM tomatoes, which were approved for use prior to May 1997 but for which not all applications had reached the market, has been considered and approved. A report on this will be forwarded to the European Commission shortly.