Food Law News - UK - 2007

FSA Consultation Letter, 25 July 2007

GM FOOD - Guidance note for sampling food and feed to determine the presence of genetically modified (GM) material

For a copy of the draft Guidance Notes, see: FSA Draft GM Guidance Notes

The Agency seeks comments on supplementary guidance to enforcement authorities for sampling food and feed to determine the presence of genetically modified material. Responses are requested by: 17 October 2007

Consultation details

The aim of this guidance note is to:


The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is providing supplementary guidance on the sampling of GM food and feed following a European Commission Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) Mission to the UK in June 2006. The Mission was carried out with respect to the implementation of the EC Regulation on Genetically Modified Food and Feed (EC 1829/2003) and the Traceability and Labelling of Genetically Modified Organisms (EC 1830/2003). The Inspection Report of the Mission , GMO - Controls on food and feed, is available on the Commission's website.

One of the recommendations arising from the Mission was for the FSA to provide detailed guidance to officers responsible for the sampling of food and feed for the presence of GM material.

The FVO Mission suggested that there is a need for guidelines to be provided to enforcement authorities. Public Analysts have also noted that many of the samples presented for testing for the presence of GM material do not contain DNA for a number of technical reasons, thus the presence of ingredients from GMOs cannot be detected.

This guidance note is supplementary to the original guidance on the regulations, issued by the FSA and Defra in 2004, and highlights available information on sampling, and provides advice on the most appropriate samples for analysing GM material in food and feed. There has been no change to the legislation or to the responsibilities of enforcement authorities. It is not foreseen that these guidelines will necessarily increase the frequency of sampling for GM material, but that they will aim to improve effectiveness. It is the responsibility of enforcement authorities to decide on their priorities when sampling food and feed.

This consultation seeks comments from stakeholders on the draft guidance and views on what stakeholders would consider to be useful information in a guidance note on the sampling of food and feed to determine the presence of GM material. To maximise the information gathered, interested parties should not limit themselves to commenting on the text that is included, but should make any other recommendations as to what should be included in the guidance note.

We have also taken this opportunity to update the two page enforcement summary document outlining the scope of the EU regulations for GM Food and Feed (1829/2003) and Traceability and Labelling (1830/2003) of GMOs that was published in 2004. This is included in the accompanying document.

The original guidance, published in 2005, can be found at: GM Guidance - 2005

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