Responding to pressure for a tougher stance and increased transparency on the licensing of genetically modified organisms, the European Food Standards Agency has emphasised its commitment to cooperating with Member States in developing scientific approaches to assess the risks posed by GMOs.

The issue is due to be debated by the EU Environment Council on 27 June. 

The EFSA said that it hopes to develop the involvement of Member States, enhancing channels of communication, increasing consultation and participation. Cooperation, the agency said, is particularly important when formulating a scientific approach to the long-term effects of GMOs on health and the environment.

In forwarding the strategy to the EU Environment Council, Dr Herman Koëter, EFSA's acting executive director said: "EFSA hopes that Member States will be eager to be more closely involved in EFSA's many on-going and future planned activities in GMO risk assessment. We have brought together an overview of all EFSA GMO activities and outlined some new initiatives aimed at further developing and enhancing our co-operation. EFSA has worked very hard up till now on involving Member States in its GMO risk assessment work and will continue to work even harder with Member States on this co-operation."