HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 cc785-6W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 30 June 2003,Official Report, column 118W, ref 121295, if he will list the scientific evidence on which the answer is based; and if he will make a statement on the procedures developed by the World Health Organisation. [123494]

Miss Melanie Johnson

Scientific evidence that should be taken into account in the safety assessment include: composition, effects of processing and cooking, transformation procedure, the genetic modification event, protein expression of the novel DNA (including function, potential toxicity and potential allergenicity), potential secondary effects from gene expression, and potential intake regulatory impact.

The safety assessment of genetically modified (GM) food is undertaken by independent scientists on a case by case basis in accordance with the European Commission guidelines that accompany the EC Novel Foods Regulation (EC/258/97). Regulation 1852/2001 requires the European Commission to publish the data, which supports each GM food application made under EC 258/97.

Several organisations (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organisations of the United Nations), including the World Health Organisation have agreed that the assessment procedure for GM foods requires an integrated and stepwise, case-by-case approach.