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ARTICLE

EFSA PANEL'S SCIENTIFIC OPINION ON ASSESSING ALLERGENICITY

Date : 6 August 2010

After 181 comments received in a public consultation involving both the public and private sector, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel has adopted a scientific opinion on strategies for assessing the risk of allergenicity of GM plants and microorganisms and derived food and feed. The Panel concludes that, "as there is no single test to assess the allergenicity of a GM food or feed, a case-by-case evaluation based on a weight-of-evidence approach is the most appropriate way to do this". 

The Panel also provides information on how to: 

•    Analyze the sequence of the proteins in order to identify possible similarities with known allergens
•    Test the potential of the proteins to bind with specific antibodies; and
•    Assess the breakdown of the protein during digestion. In addition to assessing the new protein 

In addition, the Panel recommends that for crops known to be allergenic, the whole GM plant is tested for allergenicity. 

See EFSA's media release at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/gmo100729.htm