GRACE in brief
GRACE (GMO Risk Assessment and Communication of Evidence)
- European Commission 7th Framework project (Collaborative Project – Large-scale integrating project)
- Work programme topics addressed: KBBE.2012.3.5-04 (Verification of GMO risk assessment elements and review and communication of evidence collected on the biosafety of GMO)
- The project was approved by the European Commission in July 2012 and will end in November 2015.
- A total of 17 partners from 13 countries are involved.
GRACE pursues two key research objectives:
Firstly, it aims to provide comprehensive reviews of the evidence on the health, environmental and socio-economic impacts of GM plants – considering both risks and possible benefits.
GRACE’s review strategy aims to go beyond what has been done before. Reviews will be conducted in a systematic, transparent and inclusive way, adapting established procedures e.g., from evidence-based medicine (systematic reviews).
The results will be made accessible to the public via an open access database and other channels.
Secondly, GRACE will test various types of animal feeding trials and alternative in vitro methods in order to determine how suitable they are and what useful scientific information they provide for health risk assessments of GM food and feed. The European Commission is considering whether 90-day feeding trials should be a mandatory test method for the risk assessment of GM foods and feeds.
The GRACE project will also check whether extended feeding trials can improve risk assessments compared with the analytical and in vitro methods available today.
Transparency and external expert and stakeholder scrutiny is a key feature of GRACE
Transparency and dialogue are of central importance to the GRACE project. The GRACE project will be working closely with representatives from a broad range of stakeholder organisations as well as with professional risk assessors and risk managers. This includes planning and preparing the research activities as well as disussing the results and drawing conclusions. Therefore, the GRACE project will organise workshops and conduct interviews and surveys and prepare feed-back reports to ensure that the information and the views of stakeholders can feed into this project.
The database CADIMA (Central Access Database for Impact Assessment of Crop Genetic Improvement Technologies) contains quality assessed studies and conclusions on the health effects, socio-economic consequences and environmental impacts of GM plants as well as raw data of animal feeding studies and alternative in vitro approaches.