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Development and comparison of molecular profiling methods for improved safety evaluation using GM brassicas.
Project Code: G02004
Norwich Research Institute
The inherent difficulty of using conventional toxicology methods for the safety evaluation of novel foods was recognised over a decade ago and new approaches have been developed under the guidance of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the OECD and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The safety evaluation of novel foods, including GM food, involves use of the ‘substantial equivalence’ concept which recognises the fact that conventional foods have been eaten by many people over a long period of time and have an established and accepted level of safety. Genetic modification involves the introduction of a limited amount of change and substantial equivalence uses a comparative approach to reveal both intended and unintended differences between a GM food and its conventional counterpart. Although substantial equivalence is not in itself a safety evaluation its use has been questioned, especially with respect to its capacity to reveal unintended consequences of genetic modification.
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