The guidance document for the environmental risk assessment of GM plants assists applicants in the preparation of the environmental aspects of an application. Applicants must include a plan for detailed post-market environmental monitoring (PMEM) irrespective of whether they apply for authorisation to import and/or process, or for cultivation. This plan should describe how the GM plant will be monitored for possible adverse effects on the environment. EFSA assesses the results of PMEM for cultivated GM plants annually. It makes recommendations to the European Commission when necessary.
What is Genetically Modified Food?
Genetically modified food is food that has been altered at the DNA level. This is done by very precise genetic engineering techniques developed by scientists. In general the aim of genetically modifying food is simple, either to make the food more marketable or make it easier to produce. Most food that is genetically modified are plant products or vegetables such as soybeans, corn and tomatoes. The genetic modification of crops happened prior to scientific engineering via breeding and cross pollination. This method is still used to create crops that are more resistant to pests or to produce plants that yield bigger harvests. Scientific genetic engineering allows for a specific gene to be taken from one organism and transplanted into another. The gene responsible for making a plant resistant to pests can be quickly and efficiently transplanted into another plant allowing it to gain this resistant property.