Health Canada and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) complete first shared GM food safety assessment
Health Canada and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) have completed the first assessment of a genetically modified (GM) food under a new safety assessment sharing initiative.
Herbicide-tolerant GM canola MON 94100 was the first product assessed under the safety assessment sharing arrangement, which aims to make the GM food approval processes of both agencies more efficient by reducing assessment time, resources and costs.
Health Canada undertook the food safety assessment and provided it to FSANZ for review.
The shared process delivered a range of benefits, including:
- faster approval time in Australia and New Zealand, resulting in a cost saving for the company
- time and resource savings for FSANZ
- improved alignment and efficiency in the approval process for both Canada and Australia/New Zealand.
The Health Canada and FSANZ approval processes were both completed in April 2021:
How shared safety assessments work
A company seeking approval for a GM food from both FSANZ and Health Canada can request to have their product assessed under the safety assessment sharing arrangement.
Under this arrangement, separate applications are submitted to each agency, but only one food safety assessment is prepared either by FSANZ or Health Canada.
The assessment is then referred to the other agency for review and input to ensure it meets the requirements of both agencies.
The joint food safety assessment is used by each agency as an important part of their separate and independent approval processes.
Preparations are underway to test the shared safety assessment process where Health Canada uses a safety assessment prepared by FSANZ.
This next phase will commence once a suitable application is identified.
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