The EU will ensure there
are no genetically modified foods in Europe that pose a danger
to the consumer.
Today genetically modified foods have to be EU approved before
they can be sold in Europe.
In order for a genetically modified food to be approved it
must go through a Food Risk Assessment. The following points
are considered amongst others:
- Is there a difference between the genetically modified
food and the non-genetically modified equivalent? A comparison
of fat, proteins, vitamins and toxins are made (amongst
- Can new substances or quantities of materials in the genetically
modified foods affect consumers? Are the nutritional values
altered? Can the foods become toxic or cause allergic reactions?
- In some cases, trial feeding of research animals is carried
It's difficult to know what the future holds or to predict
the possible long-term consequences of eating genetically
In 1994, the first genetically modified
crop - a tomato came on the market in the USA. Since
then there have been many more. Eating genetically modified
food has become quite common. People have only been
eating genetically modified food for a relatively short
period. So there may be long-term effects which we simply
don't know about yet.
Americans have eaten genetically modified foods for the longest
period. Today they eat genetically modified food produce every
day. It's estimated that around 65% of the products available
in American supermarkets contain some amount of genetically
Surveys in the USA have shown that many Americans have a
relaxed approach to genetic modification. They reason that
it must be safe because they've eaten it for years without