Reference Work Entry

Sustainable Food Production

pp 1666-1697

Transgenic Crops , Risk Assessment and Regulatory Framework in the European Union

  • Yann DevosAffiliated withGMO Unit, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • , Wendy CraigAffiliated withBiosafety Unit, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)
  • , Joachim SchiemannAffiliated withJulius Kühn Institute (JKI), Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Biosafety of Genetically Modified Plants Email author 

Definition of the Subject

This contribution describes the risk assessment principles and the regulatory framework for transgenic (genetically modified (GM)) crops in the European Union (EU).

While the global cropping area of GM crops reached 148 million hectares in 2010, the total area cultivated with GM crops in the EU was less than 100,000 ha. Most GM crops are thus cultivated outside the EU, but might subsequently be imported and eventually further processed in the EU, mostly for animal feed purposes.

It is globally accepted that agro-food biotechnology could contribute to achieving the objectives (conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components, fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources) laid down in the Convention on Biological Diversity, if developed and used with adequate safety measures for both the environment and human health. Generally, ...

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