GM foods

Last updated:
14 August 2014
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.

Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes

The Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) is a non-statutory, independent body of scientific experts that advises the Food Standards Agency on any matters relating to novel foods, which includes GM foods, and novel processes.

The ACNFP, which carries out safety assessments of any novel food or process submitted for approval, still has a role in advising the Agency on GM foods, although the approval of such foods no longer falls under the Novel Foods Regulation.

Until April 2004, the scope of the ‘Novel Foods Regulation’ (Novel Food Regulation (EC) 258/97) included all foods produced using genetically modified organisms but GM foods are currently subject to approval under a separate regulation, Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003. See both regulations on the European Commission website via the links below.

The safety assessments of GM foods are carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which sometimes consults the Agency. Assessments include a detailed study of potential for toxic, nutritional and allergenic effects. Where necessary, the Agency may also seek advice from the ACNFP.

The ACNFP also advises the Agency on other GM issues.

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.

More in this section

GM labelling

The Agency supports consumer choice. We recognise that some people will want to choose not to buy or eat genetically modified (GM) foods, however carefully they have been assessed for safety.

GM material in animal feed

Guidance on the assessment and authorisation of GM varieties for use in animal feed. Information on the source and quantities of GMOs imported for use in feed.

GM basics

Find out how genetic modification technology works and what it means for our food.

Evaluating GM foods

The current procedures for evaluation and authorisation of genetically modified (GM) foods are laid down in Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 on GM food and feed, which came into force in April 2004. The safety assessments are carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), according to its published guidelines for the assessment of GM plants.