Novel foods

Information on novel foods, including novel food assessments, food from cloned animals and nanotechnology.

Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP)

The ACNFP is a non-statutory, independent body of scientific experts that advises the Food Standards Agency on any matters relating to novel foods (including genetically modified, GM, foods) and novel processes (including food irradiation).

The ACNFP carries out safety assessments of any novel food or process submitted for approval under Regulation (EC) No 258/97 (the ‘Novel Foods Regulation’).

More information about the ACNFP, including its evaluation reports, minutes of meetings and annual reports can be found at the link below. The annual reports explain the work the committee has undertaken during a given reporting year and provide a full list of ACNFP Members and any interests that they might have.

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Cloned animals

Foods produced from cloned animals fall under Regulation (EC) No 258/97 (the 'Novel Foods Regulation'). This means that meat, milk or eggs from cloned animals would be subjected to a safety evaluation and approved by all European Union (EU) member states as a novel food before they could be marketed legally.

Unauthorised novel foods

From time to time, the FSA is made aware of food or food ingredients that may be on the UK market without the necessary authorisation as a novel food. We publish information about these potential unauthorised novel foods, and first began doing this in October 2013. The information includes food and food ingredients currently under review, and those that have been reviewed.


Nanotechnology is an emerging science and, if used to develop novel foods and processes, approval would be required under the 'Novel Foods Regulation' (Regulation (EC) No 258/97) to ensure products are safe. Nanotechnology is the manufacture and use of materials and structures at the nanometre scale (a nanometre is one millionth of a millimetre).

GM foods

Information on the Food Standards Agency's work on genetically modified (GM) food, including GM food safety assessments, GM material in animal feed and GM labelling.

Regulation of novel food

The 'Novel Foods Regulation' (Regulation (EC) No 258/97) lays out detailed rules for the authorisation of novel foods, ingredients and processes.

Novel food assessments

Under the 'Novel Foods Regulation' (Regulation (EC) No 258/97), a novel food is defined as a food that does not have a significant history of consumption within the European Union (EU) before 15 May 1997. Such foods are subject to a pre-market safety assessment before a decision is made on EU-wide authorisation.