The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said that a meeting about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) held with Green Peace and other environmental groups had been ‘worthwhile’ despite ‘differing views’.

The meeting, held yesterday (23 February) in Parma, gave environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the European Environmental Bureau, GM Free Cymru and GeneWatch the chance to discuss scientific and procedural issues related to the risk assessment of GMOs.

Following the meeting the EFSA said in a statement: “Although differing views and approaches were expressed, some of which are fundamental in principle, all agreed that the debate had certainly been worthwhile.”

The authority and NGO’s entered into open discussions after presentations on the scientific basis for evaluating food and feed safety, environmental impact and monitoring, statistical approaches and risk assessment.

Acting EFSA director Herman Koëter, chair of the meeting, said: “I am very happy with the atmosphere in which the meeting took place. We could not expect to agree on all details but I very much welcomed the open and fair debate on scientific issues as regards GMOs.

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“We will continue to exchange views and collaborate with all stakeholders to provide a basis for a better understanding of each other’s role, expectations and approach.”