The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has overhauled its advice on the monitoring of genetically modified organisms in foodstuffs, to ensure they do not spark unexpected health and environmental problems after being authorised.

Its GMO panel says that general surveillance, designed to identify unexpected risks that were not anticipated in any earlier studies, should always be included in a food company’s environmental monitoring plan. Notably, such general checks should be alert to any possible problems and not be driven by risk assessment hypotheses. They should also make use of existing monitoring systems, when possible, maybe improving them using techniques such as questionnaires and comparisons with existing data.