Safety assessment of viable genetically modified micro-organisms used in food
- Publisher: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
(issn: 1651-2235, eissn: 1651-2235)
Micro-organisms are widely used in food production, and a considerable amount of research is being done to improve strains by gene technology. The safety evaluation of viable genetically modified micro-organisms used in food raises a number of issues that are not relevant to the safety assessment of foods containing non-viable genetically modified micro-organisms or obtained from genetically modified plants, e.g., gene transfer, colonisation and pathogenicity. On 14–16 April 1999, ILSI Europe convened a workshop to define guidelines for the safety evaluation of viable genetically modified micro-organisms used in food. The workshop was attended by 60 scientists from government, industry and academia and was chaired by Prof. B. Moseley (UK). Draft guidelines elaborated by an expert group as well as scientific background documents underpinning these guidelines served as a basis for discussion. After introductory presentations on the main issues, members broke into three working groups (intestinal flora and human health, gene transfer, and pathogenicity) and discussed their respective topics in the context of the guidelines. Reports on recommendations for amendments of the guidelines were presented and discussed in a final session, and consensus on the guidelines was reached among the participants of the workshop. The guidelines, which form the basis of this report, will also be published together with the scientific aspects underpinning these guidelines in Food Biotechnology.