European Food Safety Authority opens engineered nanomaterial guidance document to public

Comments may be submitted until Feb. 25, 2011

The European Food Safety Authority has launched a public consultation on its draft guidance document for engineered nanomaterial applications in food and feed.

According to the guidance document, prepared by the Scientific Committee in response to a request from the European Commission, it is essential to characterize ENM following classical risk assessment practices. The draft guidance also mentions several uncertainties related to test methodologies and the availability of data and makes recommendations about how risk assessments should reflect such uncertainties. “Building on the EFSA’s previous scientific opinions in the area of nanotechnologies, we are now in the position to provide practical guidance on the risk assessment process,” said Professor Vittorio Silano, chair of the EFSA’s Scientific Committee. “The EFSA recognizes the importance of developing risk assessment methodologies in this area of science, supporting innovation whilst ensuring the safety of food and feed. This is the first time that risk assessment guidance on nanotechnologies related to the food chain has been developed, making this public consultation very important to EFSA.”

Comments on the draft opinion can be submitted until Feb. 25, 2011. The final guidance document will be adopted by the EFSA’s Scientific Committee, which will consider the comments received, following the public consultation.